Margaret R. Draper papers, 1890-2010

Overview of the Collection

Draper, Margaret, 1916-
Margaret R. Draper papers
1890-2010 (inclusive)
6 linear feet, (14 boxes)
Collection Number
ACCN 2879
The Margaret R. Draper papers (1890-2010) contain the personal and professional materials including yearbooks, correspondence, travel documents, family genealogy materials, playbills, play scripts, magazines articles and reviews, contracts, news clippings, appointment books, and address books pertaining to her personal and professional life. Margaret R. Draper (1916-2011) is known for her work as an actress for television and radio from the late 1930s through the 1960s and her work as a disk jockey on WNEW-FM in the 1960s. She did service for the American Red Cross in WWII from 1943-1946. She spent her later life working for and establishing the United Seamen's Service Club in Camh Ran Bay, Vietnam; Naples, Italy; Genoa, Italy; Germany; and Alexandria, Egypt.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT

Telephone: 8015818863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Margaret Draper was born to Delbert M. and Mary Rogers Draper on November 20, 1916 in Spanish Fork, Utah. She attended and graduated from East High School and the University of Utah.

Margaret's professional life started with her participation in theatre while she attended East High School and the University of Utah. Upon graduation from the University of Utah she moved to New York where she worked as an actress in theatre, radio, and television during 1940s-1950s. However, from 1943-1946 she served in the American Red Cross in the Middle East and Germany. When she returned to New York, some of her more prominent acting roles included playing Liz Dennis in The Brighter Day from 1949-1954 and Linda Pepper in Pepper's Young Family in 1954. She worked for several theatres and theatre companies including the Chekhov Players, Corning Theatre, and Barter Theatre. During the 1960s, she worked as an actor and model in commercials and advertisements. In 1966, she became a disc jockey for the all-women FM radio station, WNEW-FM. From 1969-1979, she worked for the United Seamen's Service until she moved to Washington where she worked for the National Alliance of Business PSIP Clearinghouse in the early 1980s. She retired in 1985 and was later married to Wesley Brown in 1997 and traveled before returning to live in Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1949, Margaret married Joe DeSantis, with whom she had her son, Christopher Desantis in 1951. They later divorced in 1957. She then had a marriage (1959) with Niccol Bissel and then she married (1972) J. Norman Messer. In 1997, she was married to Wesley Brown until his death in 2001. She died October 14, 2011.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Margaret R. Draper papers (1890-2010) contain the personal and professional materials including yearbooks, correspondence, travel documents, family genealogy materials, playbills, play scripts, magazines articles and reviews, contracts, news clippings, appointment books, and address books pertaining to her personal and professional life.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library's Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Collection Name, Collection Number, Box Number, Folder Number. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, The University of Utah.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


This collection has been arranged into three series: I. Personal materials which contains Margaret's personal correspondence and documents and a subseries titled "Family Genealogy" which contains both the Draper family and Rogers family genealogical records. II. Professional materials which contain documents from Margaret's work in theatre, radio, television, the United Seamen's Service, and the National Alliance of Business PISP Clearinghouse. III. General materials.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Christopher C. DeSantis in 2015.

Processing Note

Processed by Chelsea Olsen in 2015.

Click here to read a statement on harmful language in library records.

Separated Materials

See also the Margaret R. Draper photograph collection (P1953) and DVD of Somewhere the Door Blew Shut performance in the Multimedia Division of Special Collections.

Related Materials

Forms part of the Aileen H. Clyde 20th Century Women's Legacy Archives.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

I:  Personal materialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box object
1 1
1 2
2 1
East High School and University of Utah Theater
2 2
University of Utah materials
2 3
New York University testing
2 4
Marriage announcements
1949; 1959; 1997
2 5
Christopher DeSantis (son) materials
2 6
Correspondence between Margaret Draper and her mother, Frances Draper
2 7
General correspondence
1966; 1986; 1997-2010
2 8
General correspondence
2 9
circa 1974
2 10
Trip to England, Ireland, and Scotland materials
circa 1980s
2 11
Travel papers
2 12
Travel brochures and souvenirs
2 13
2 14
General materials
A: Family materials
Box Folder
3 1
Grances Mary Rogers Draper (mother)
1890; 1912
3 2
Correspondence from Lura Beam
1953; 1976-1978
3 3
"This is My Life," Delbert Draper (father)
3 4
University Pen
Debert M. Draper on editorial board in 1910
3 5
Delbert M. Delbert M. Draper materials
3 6
Delbert and Frances Draper family materials
3 7
Family writings and poetry
3 8
Rogers family genealogy materials
3 9
Draper family genealogy materials
3 10
Draper family news clippings
3 11
Draper and Rogers family obituaries
circa 1970-1990
3 12
General obituaries and memorial service materials
circa 1970-2010

II:  Professional materialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
Resumes and work history
A: Theatre
Box Folder
4 2
A Minor Adjustment
4 3
Barter Theatre
4 4
Barter Theatre Repertory Company
4 5
Barter Theatre's Armas and the Man
4 6
Ceremony of Innocence
4 7
Chekhov Theatre Players, Ridgefield, Connecticut materials
4 8
Chekhov Theatre Players materials
4 9
Cherry Orchard
4 10
Corning, New York City, NY Theatre materials
This folder contains materials regarding the following plays:
  • Life with Father
  • Five Finger Exercise
  • Once More With Feeling
  • The Marriage Go Round
4 11
Edward II
5 1
For Heaven's Sake Mother
5 2
The Gambler
5 3
Green Lake Players, Buffalo, New York materials
5 4
The Happy Breed
5 5
5 6
Me the Sleeper
5 7
Night Must Fall
5 8
Papa is All
5 9
Peer Gynt
5 10
Reserve Two for Murder
5 11
Shout from the Rooftops
5 12
Sing Me No Lullaby
5 13
The Snow was Black
5 14-15
Somewhere the Door Blew Shut
5 16-17
Time of the Cuckoo
5 18
What do you really know about your Husband?
5 19
Theatre reviews
5 20
Recognition, news clippings
5 21
ANTA magazine
5 22
American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Screen Actors Guild (SAG) materials
5 23
General theatre materials
6 1
Frankie, A Play in Two Acts, play script
6 2
Laura Hembree's play script
6 3
Duchess of Malfi play script
6 4
Untitled play script
B: Television, radio, and advertisements
Box Folder
7 1
7 2
Brighter Day
7 3
City Hospital and Peppers Young Family
7 4
WNEW-FM materials
7 5
Radio programs and awards
7 6
circa 1960s
C: American Red Cross service
Box Folder
8 1-3
Service materials
8 4
8 5
News clippings
D: United Seamen's Service
From 1969-1970, Margaret Draper worked as the assistant director for the United Seamen's Service (USS) Club in Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam. These papers relate to her stay there. The center was evacuated shortly before the Tet offensive. She also worked for the USS in Naples, Italy; Genoa, Italy; and Germany. From around 1974-1979, Margaret established the USS Club in Alexandria Egypt.
Box Folder
9 1
USS Membership IDs
9 2
USS Cam Ranh plaque
9 3
USS Vietnam plaque
9 4-8
USS materials
10 1-6
USS materials
10 7
USS materials
1988; 1990-1992
10 8
USS general correspondence
circa 1975-1982
10 9
Postcards and brochures
10 10-11
10 12-13
USS general materials
E: National Alliance of Business
Box Folder
10 14

III:  General materialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Appointment books
1977-1979; 1998-2000
Passports and appointment books
1945-1946; 1962-1966; 1980-1990; 1996
Address and telephone number books

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Actresses--New York (State)--New York--Archives
  • Disc jockeys--New York (State)--New York--Archives
  • International officials and employees--Archives
  • Non-governmental organizations--Employees--Archives
  • Television actors and actresses--Archives
  • Women in radio broadcasting--New York (State)--New York--Sources
  • World War, 1939-1945--Women

Personal Names

  • Draper, Margaret, 1916---Archives
  • Draper, Margaret, 1916---Family--Archives
  • Draper, Margaret, 1916---Travel--Archives

Corporate Names

  • American Red Cross--Employees--Archives
  • National Alliance of Business--Employees--Archives
  • United Seamen's Service--Employees--Archives
  • United Seamen's Service. Cam Ranh Bay Center (Vietnam)--Employees--Archives

Form or Genre Terms

  • Address books
  • Appointment books
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Drama
  • Family histories
  • Passports
  • Personal correspondence
  • Records (Documents)
  • Resumes (personnel records)
  • Television plays
  • Theater programs

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • American Red Cross (isb)
    • United Seamen's Service (isb)