Maud May Babcock papers, 1885-1981

Overview of the Collection

Babcock, Maud May, 1867-1954
Maud May Babcock papers
1885-1981 (inclusive)
9.75 linear feet, (10 boxes, 2 oversize boxes, and 3 oversize folders)
Collection Number
MS 0083
The Maud May Babcock papers consists of personal and professional correspondence, biographical and genealogical material, class registers and teaching notebooks from the University of Utah, honors and tributes, books, speeches and articles by Miss Babcock, theater and speech programs, and travel memorabilia and photographs. Babcock was and actress and instructor in speech at the University of Utah.
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.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Born in East Worchester, New York, on 2 May 1867, Maud May Babcock (1867-1954) was graduated from the National School of Oratory of Philadelphia and the Lyceum School of Acting, now the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She also studied at Chicago University and for two years, in London and Paris. She received a B.A. degree from Wells College in New York. Babcock was an instructor for three summer sessions at Harvard University and taught at Engleside School for Girls in the Berkshires, Rutgers College, and in the public schools of New York before coming to the University of Utah.

She came to Salt Lake City in 1892 as a professor of oratory and speech at the old Social Hall. On the occasion of her birthday in 1947, she said that Mrs. Susa Young Gates, a daughter of Brigham Young, was responsible for her coming West. Mrs. Gates was in one of her Harvard summer classes. Babcock organized the physical culture and speech departments at the University and trained thousands of students, some of whom went on to make names for themselves on the legitimate stage, in movies, and in radio. She wrote numerous books relating to the fields of speech and elocution, including Handbook for Teachers of Interpretation, Interpretive Selections for High Schools, and Interpretive Selections for College.

She was former president of the national Association fo the Teachers of Speech, served on the board of Utah School for the Deaf and Blind for twenty years and later in life was made an honorary member of the National League of American Pen Women. She was chaplain of the Utah State Senate, probably the first woman in the country to hold such a position. Miss Babcock made a number of trips to East Asia, as well as to Europe, sometimes conducting parties of students. In 1938, after making a personal contribution for the aid of Chinese victims fo the Sino-Japanese war, she received a letter from Madame Chiang Kai-shek thanking her for her interest in the Chinese people.

Miss Babcock retired from the University of Utah in 1938. She was the pioneer of the college Little Theater movement and organized the first little theater west of the Mississippi. Maud May Babcock died on 31 December 1954 after a long illness. (This biography was taken from an article in the Utah Alumnus, May 1955.)

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Maud May Babcock papers (1885-1981) contain materials dealing with the personal life and professional activities of Maud May Babcock (1867-1954). Materials related mainly to her personal life are: a book, Babcock Genealogy; Valentine and Christmas cards; news clippings; and a contract for building her residence. Most of the correspondence is from family members and deals with personal matters, but also included are letters of introduction and commissions related to her professional affairs. Some of the personal correspondence touches on professional topics, particularly her Utah School of Physical Culture and Elocution. Materials related to her role as founder and head of the University of Utah Speech Department and to her involvement with theater include: class registers, scrapbooks, professional expense accounts, plays, poetry and recitations, programs, and honors and awards. Babcock was an author as well as an educator. This aspect is represented by two books on interpretation of the printed page and the manuscript of a third which she co-authored. The tours of the Orient she conducted are represented by travel brochures and news clippings note her service as a member of the State Senate and Trustee of the Utah School for the Deaf and Blind. Other materials in the collection include miscellaneous correspondence, biographies, theater programs, lists of plays, and scrapbooks. Also included is a copy of her final address before the Speech Association of America and various memorabilia items.

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

Acquisition Information

Boxes 1-10 were donated in 1973 and 1981 (7 linear feet).

Box 11 was donated in 1990 (2.5 linear feet).

Box 12 was donated in 2005 (0.25 linear feet).

Separated Materials

See also the Maud May Babcock photograph collection (P0883) and audio-visual materials (A0083) in the Multimedia Division of Special Collections.

Processing Note

Processed by Linda Herrick and Della Dye in 1977.

Processed by Lisa DeMille in 2005.

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

Related Materials

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

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

CorrespondenceReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1
Alfred Ayers to Maud May Babcock
1 2-7
Mrs. William Wayne Babcock Sr. to Maud May Babcock
1 8
Mrs. William Wayne Babcock Sr. to William Wayne Babcock Jr.
1 9
William Wayne Babcock Sr. to Maud May Babcock
2 1-3
William Wayne Babcock Jr. to Maud May Babcock
2 4
William Wayne Babcock Jr. to Mrs. William Wayne Babcock Sr.
2 5
Madame Chiang Kai-shek to Maud May Babcock
2 6-7
Harcourt Peck to Maud May Babcock
3 1
Johanna Lettmann to Maud May Babcock
3 2
Letters of Introduction from J. M. Tanner and J. M. Lyman for Maud May Babcock
3 3
Orson F. Whitney to Maud May Babcock
3 4-5
Zina S. Whitney to Maud May Babcock
3 6
Utah School for the Deaf and Blind Acceptance and Resignation Letters; University of Utah Sabbatical Leave Letter
3 7

Subject FilesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
4 1
Biography and Genealogy of Maud May Babcock
4 2
University of Utah Class Registers
4 3
Contract for Residence
4 4
Golden Jubilee Banquet Souvenir Program
4 5
Delta Kappa Gamma Invitation and Board of Trustees Certificate
4 6
Invitations and Calling Cards
4 7
Japanese Theater
4 8
Academic Certificate, Application Letter, Court Notice, Binghamton High School Subject Record
4 9
Mormon Tabernacle Choir Souvenir Program
4 10
National Speech Arts Association and the National Dramatic Fraternity
1912; 1927
4 11
Newspaper Clippings
4 12
Personal Items, Account Book, and Character Analysis
4 13
Annie F. Armitage Petition
4 14
Play Scripts
5 1-4
Poetry and Recitations
5 5
Professional Expense Accounts
5 6-7
5 8
5 9
Teaching Materials for Elocution
5 10-11
Travel Materials
5 12
House Bill 114
5 13
Valentines and Christmas Cards
5 14
William Wayne Babcock Jr., "The Changing Medical Pattern"

Maud May Babcock MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Interpretation of the Printed Page, Manuscripts
Books by Maud May Babcock
Babcock Genealogy, Handbook for Teachers of Interpretation, Interpretation of the Printed Page, Pedagogy of Interpretation, and Studies in Dialect.
8 1
Correspondence, Personal and Official
8 2
Correspondence, Elbert D. Thomas to Maud May Babcock
8 3-4
Maud May Babcock Biographical Data
Notes, record sheets, and articles.
8 5
Household Account Book
8 6
Invitations and Cards
8 7
National Association of Teachers of Speech
8 8
8 9
Produced by the University Dramatic Club, Extension Division and Summer School Play Production, Freshman Dramatic Club, Theta Alpha Phi, Salt Lake Theater, and the University Speech Department.
8 10-12
For the Babcock Varsity Players, Utah Theater, and other events including lectures by Babcock and Joseph F. Smith.
8 13
Theta Alpha Phi Invitation and Program
8 14-15
Travel Materials
Diaries, programs, brochures, and memorabilia.
8 16-17
University of Utah Speech Department
Reports, Utah Colleges on the Air program, and courses of study.
8 18
Utah State Senate, Prayers by Babcock
8 19
Writings by Babcock
8 20
Newspaper Clippings
8 21
William Wayne Babcock Jr.
Biographical notes, letter, news clippings, and program.
9 1
Picturesque Middleburgh and Vicinity
9 2
Theater Notebook
9 3
General Materials
Includes Babcock's final address before the Speech Association of America, a presentation by the Maud May Babcock Reading Arts Society and University of Utah Theater Department, and a copy of her Handbook for Teachers of Interpretation. Also included is her doctorate diploma.
General Materials
Included are two napkins embroidered by Babcock and organizational pins housed in a striped bag.
Box Folder
12 1
Family Crest
This is a scanned image of the original family crest.
12 2

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Elocution--Study and teaching
  • Elocutionists--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
  • Latter Day Saint women authors--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
  • Women college teachers--United States--Archives
  • Women deans (Education)--Utah--Salt Lake City--Archives
  • Women in higher education--United States--Archives
  • Women in the theater--United States--Archives
  • Women theatrical producers and directors--United States--Archives

Personal Names

  • Babcock, Maud May, 1867-1954--Archives
  • Chiang, May-ling Soong, 1897-2003--Correspondence

Corporate Names

  • University of Utah. Department of Communication--Faculty--Archives
  • University of Utah. Department of Theatre--Faculty--Archives
  • Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind--Professional staff--Archives

Form or Genre Terms

  • Business correspondence
  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Financial records
  • Greeting cards
  • Instructional and educational works
  • Manuscripts
  • Personal correspondence
  • Plays (Literary genre)
  • Poetry
  • Programs (documents)
  • Records (Documents)
  • Registers (Lists)
  • Scrapbooks