C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks, 1920-1952

Overview of the Collection

Mitchell, C. B. (Charles Buren), 1886-1955.
C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks
1920-1952 (inclusive)
1 cubic foot, including 458 photographs, (2 oversize boxes)
Collection Number
MSS Mitchell
The C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks document theater productions at Oregon State College during the 1920s through early 1950s. The Scrapbooks consist predominantly of photographs and also include programs. Mitchell, a faculty member at Oregon State College from 1920 until 1952, was instrumental in development of the theater and dramatics programs.
Oregon State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Research Center
Special Collections and Archives Research Center
121 The Valley Library
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR
Telephone: 5417372075
Fax: 5417378674
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

C.B. (Charles Buren) Mitchell joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College in 1920 to head the new Department of Speech. As department head, he established and developed the dramatics and forensics programs at Oregon State. More than 200 plays were produced under his administration. Mitchell retired in 1952; the College Playhouse was renamed in his honor as Mitchell Playhouse in 1961.

Mitchell was born in Lebanon, Indiana, in 1886 and earned degrees at DePauw University and the University of Michigan. He taught at Michigan Agricultural College prior to his appointment at Oregon State. Mitchell died in 1955.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks consist of four volumes assembled by Mitchell documenting 32 years of theater productions at Oregon State College. Several of the productions were staged by the Mask and Dagger Club. The scrapbooks consist predomininantly of high quality photographs arranged chronologically; most depict finished stage sets with actors in complete costume. The volumes also include images of set construction, lighting equipment, application of makeup, outdoor productions, and the logistics of taking a production "on the road" to Portland. The play title and production dates are identified; many of the images include handwritten annotations by Mitchell regarding set design and production innovations, such as the first use of backstage lighting for atmosphere and the appearance of silhouette onstage. Many of the photographs were made by Ball Studio and Howell's Studio photographers.

The scrapbooks also include programs and playbills for some of the productions.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

C.B. Mitchell University Theater Scrapbooks, Oregon State University Archives, Corvallis, Oregon.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Custodial History

The scrapbooks were donated to the Theater Arts Program in the Speech Communication Department by Joseph D. Mitchell, the son of C.B. Mitchell.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the Speech Communication Department in 2007.

Related Materials

The OSU Archives collections include extensive documentation of theater and dramatics programs in the University Theater Records (RG 180) which include play files, posters, and playbills and the University Theater Photographs (P 112). The University Publications Photographs (P 094) also include images of theater productions. Materials pertaining to drama activities prior to 1920 are available in the Feronian Literary Society and Mask and Dagger Club Records.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • College and school drama, American--Oregon--Corvallis.
  • Drama--Study and teaching--Oregon--Corvallis.

Corporate Names

  • Mask and Dagger Club (Oregon Agricultural College)
  • Oregon Agricultural College--Students.
  • Oregon State College--Students.

Form or Genre Terms

  • Photograph albums.
  • Photographic prints.
  • Scrapbooks.

Other Creators

  • Corporate Names
    • Ball Studio. (creator)
    • Howell's Studio. (creator)