Blanche Kendall McKey papers, 1892-1971

Overview of the Collection

McKey, Blanche Kendall
Blanche Kendall McKey papers
1892-1971 (inclusive)
1.5 linear feet
Collection Number
MS 0626
The Blanche Kendall McKey papers (1892-1971) illustrate the personal and professional life of this actress, playwright, and drama teacher.
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

Blanche Kendall Thomas McKey was born on 30 June 1879 in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Richard Kendall Thomas, a pioneer merchant, and Caroline Stockdale Thomas. The Thomas children grew up acting on a stage their father built, with Blanche's sister, Kate, writing plays for them. Blanche graduated from the University of Utah in 1900 with a normal certificate, and in the following year, left for New York with her older sister Kate. There, Blanche took private acting lessons. A few months later, she auditioned for Klaw and Erlanger, a prestigious New York agency, and was placed under contract. She worked for various other companies before her marriage to William Richard McKey in 1907. Blanche taught drama at Weber State after her husband's death from 1918-1923. She then attended the University of Utah and received her degree in 1924. She received her M.A. degree four years later. Blanche Kendall Thomas McKey died in 1973.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Blanche Kendall McKey papers (1892-1971) illustrate the personal and professional life of this actress, playwright, and drama teacher. The collection contains material about McKey (1879-1973) and her sisters, correspondence, and articles on various actors and actresses she was associated with and the theaters and theater companies she worked with. Also present are news clippings on the history of theater during her career, scripts of plays that McKey wrote, plays written by others that she acted in, theater playbills and magazines with articles on the theater, and University of Utah Founders Day programs and booklets. The collection holds books written by or about people McKey knew and a book of poetry written by her. There is also a book of photo cards on two actors and a souvenir album of the play Ben Hur.

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

Gift of Eily McKey Pierson in 1990.

Separated Materials

Photographs were transferred to the Multimedia Division of Special Collections (P0360).

Processing Note

Processed by Jane Brinkerhoff and Janet Smoak in 1992.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Personal and Professional MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1
Blanche Kendall McKey
1 2
Kate Thomas
1 3
Rose Kendall Thomas Graham
1 4
William Richard McKey
1 5
Maude Adams
1 6
Ralph Cloniger
1 7
Luke Cosgrave
1 8
Julia Dean Hayne
1 9
Edith Lindsay
1 10
Barnacle Theatre, Salt Lake City
1 11
Charles B. Hanford Company
1 12
Harmon-Kendall Players
1 13
Miscellaneous Newsclippings

Personal MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
2 1
Blanche Kendall McKey, The Unequal Yoke
2 2
Blanche Kendall McKey, Lamps of Glory
2 3
Blanche Kendall McKey, The Light
2 4
Blanche Kendall McKey, Sir Henry Irving as Dante
2 5
Ben Hur, Program
2 6
Orestes U. Bean, Corianton
2 7
Ezra C. Robinson, Zalmona
2 8
Phil Margetts, Early Theatricals in Utah
2 9
Lyndon Orr, Famous Careers Cut Short
2 10
John S. Lindsay, The Mormons and the Theatre
2 11
Said by Sarah Bernhardt
2 12
Theatre Arts, Magazine
2 13
News from Home, Magazine
2 14
University of Utah Founders Day Information

Professional MaterialsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 1
Photo Cards of Robert B. Mantell and Genevieve Hamper
3 1
Ben Hur Souvenir Album
3 2
Chantecler, Told in Words and Pictures; Charles Frohman Presents Maude Adams
3 3
Channing Pollock, Harvest of My Years
3 4
Luke Cosgrave, Theater Tonight
3 5
Blanche Kendall McKey, House of Dreams, Selected Poems and Verse Plays

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Actors--Utah
  • Dramatists--Utah
  • Theater--Utah--History--Sources

Form or Genre Terms

  • Articles
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence
  • Programs
  • Scripts (documents)