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Murray Bennett Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bennett, Murray.
Title: Murray Bennett Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1842-1965
Quantity: 5.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American stage actor, director, poet. Incoming correspondence (1875, 1909-1961), letter books, Bennett's subject file, theater programs, photographs, manuscript poems, and clippings. Includes correspondence of Charles E. Herring, Archibald Rutledge, Sybil Thorndike, and Estelle Winwood, and others.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Murray Bennett (1896-?) was an American stage actor, director, and poet.

Born in 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina, he graduated from Newton Military Academy in 1913, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1921. Bennett made his first broadway appearance in The Green Goddess with George Arliss that same year. From that time on his acting career was assured and he appeared throughout the twenties and thirties in such plays as Roseanne, Hamlet, Love in a Mist, and The Vinegar Tree. By the 1940's Bennett was a veteran actor. One of his greatest roles was in Rain, which appeared in 1945. Two years later he bought a small farm on the Carolina coast. However, he continued to pursue his career, appearing in summer stock, directing various community theatres and a radio program. In 1956, he again appeared on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

In addition to his acting career, Bennett also was a poet. He published many sonnets, as well as a volume of poems titled Invisible Pursuit, and was an active member of the Poetry Society of America.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Murray Bennett Papers include correspondence, an album, photographs, programs, souvenirs, manuscripts and published materials.

Correspondence includes incoming and outgoing correspondence as well as letters to and from others. The outgoing correspondence includes two letter books as well as loose letters. The letter classified as "to and from others" was written by Mr. Bennett's father in 1875.

Subject files contains an album of theatre personalities, photographs, programs and souvenirs. Also included are files Mr. Bennett set up which pertain to a person or place in which he was interested, such as Rupert Brooke, Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Tahiti.

Manuscripts consists of poems by W. Bennett and poems by others. Mr. Bennett's poems are undated.

Published material includes books, magazines and newspaper clippings.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Incoming correspondence is arranged alphabetically by author. Outgoing correspondence is filed chronologically. Subject files are arranged in alphabetical order by name or subject; when necessary the materials have been further arranged in chronological order. Published material is arranged alphabetically by type and, within that, by title, except for newspaper clippings which are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Bennett, Murray.
Herring, Charles Edward.
Rutledge, Archibald Hamilton, 1883-1973.
Thorndike, Sybil, Dame, 1882-1976.
Winwood, Estelle.


Actors -- United States.
Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Letter books.
Programs (documents)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Murray Bennett Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Murray Bennett, 1964.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Jan 1967
Revision history: 17 Sep 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 Arliss, George 1922
Box 1 Armistead, J.D.M. 1917-1923
Box 1 Bennett, Murray (Sr.) 1932 - second typescript copy
Box 1 Bennett, William B. (uncle) 1903
Box 1 Herring, Charles E. 1918-1922, undated
Box 1 Myers, Ida G. 1916-1918, 1920, 1923, 1925, 1929-1930, undated
Box 1 Norris, Charles H. 1920
Box 1 Rutledge, Archibald 1950, 1961, undated
Box 1 Thorndike, Dame Sybil 1935
Box 1 Winwood, Estelle 1924, 1935-1936, 1941, undated
Box 1 Letterbook 1909-1910
Box 1 Letterbook 1910-1913 1919-1920, 1922, 1950, 1961
Box 1 Undated
To and from others
Box 1 Murray Bennett, Sr. 1875
Subject file
Box 2 Album, Theatre Personalities
Box 2 Allen, Harvey 1923, 1929, 1934, 1949
Box 2 Brooke, Rupert 1934, 1965
Box 2 Ficke, Arthur Davison 1922
See also Millay, Edna St. Vincent
Box 2 Forbes-Robertson, Sir Johnston 1937, 1940, undated
Box 2 Heyward, Dubose 1927, 1935, undated
Box 2 Hobby, a book of cigar bands 1907
Box 2 Millay, Edna St. Vincent 1927-1928, 1930-1931, 1940-1942, 1951, 1963
Box 2 Miss Thompson / W. Somerset Maugham 1921, 1945
Box 2 Mitchell, John Ames
Box 3 Hall, James Norman
Box 3 Osborne, Thomas Mott 1924
Box 3 Photographs 1889, 1900-1901, 1904, 1922, 1956, 1960, undated
Box 3 Programs 1914, 1916-1919, 1921-1923, 1926, 1928, 1937-1940, undated (3 folders)
Box 3 Sargent, Franklin H. 1915, 1920, 1921, undated
Box 3 Souvenirs 1892, 1906, undated (2 folders)
Box 3 Tahiti 1914, 1919-1920, 1921, undated
Box 3 Wylie, Elinor 1922, 1929
Poems by
Box 3 from Invisible Pursuit
Poems by others
Box 3 Bennett, Isaac S. (Mr. Bennett's grandfather), to a cousin 1842
Published material
Books about
Box 4 Dictionary of International Biography 1963
Box 4 The Golden Year 1960
Box 4 International Who's Who in Poetry, Vol. I 1958
Books by others
Box 4 American Poetry 1922
Box 4 An April Elegy / Ficke, Arthur Davison 1917
Box 4 Aria Da Capo / Millay, Edna St. Vincent, autographed 1920
Box 5 Battle and Other Poems / Gibson, Wilfred, Wilson 1916
Box 5 Body of This Death / Bogan, Louise, autographed 1923
Box 5 The Collected Poems of James Elroy Flecker / Flecker 1916
Box 5 Dark Summers / Bogan, Louise
Box 5 Death in Venice / Mann, Thomas 1930
Box 5 The Door of Dreams / Rittenhouse, Jesse 1918
Box 5 The Gay Twenties / Trewin 1958
Box 6 A Glossary of Words and Phrases / Bartlett 1848
Box 6 Last Poems / Wylie, Elinor 1943
Box 6 The Limits of Art / Cairns, ed. 1948
Box 6 Little Book of Modern Verse / Rittenhouse, ed. 1913
Box 7 Little Henrietta, Reese, Licette W., autographed 1927
Box 7 Mother Goose's Nursery Ryhmes / 1897
Box 7 Mystic Isles of the South Seas / O'Brien, Frederick 1921
Box 7 The New Poetry / Monroe, ed. 1918
Box 7 Opera Cavalcade 1938
Box 8 Others / Kreymborg, ed. 1917
Box 8 The Oxford Book of English Verse 1915
Box 8 Picture Show / Sasoon, Seigfried 1920
Box 8 Rivers to the Sea / Teasdale, Sara 1916
Box 8 A Saga of a Paper Mill / Pratt, Lawrence 1935
Box 8 The Second Book of Modern Verse / Rittenhouse, ed. 1919
Box 8 Selected Poems / Vinal, Harold, autographed 1948
Box 9 Songs of the Field / Ledwidge, Thomas 1916
Box 9 Spicewood / Reese, Licette Woodworth 1920
Box 9 Twinkletoes: A Tale of Chinatown, Burke, Thomas 1918
Box 9 Verse / Adelaide Crapsey 1922
Box 9 Vigils / Sassoon, Seigfried 1936
Box 9 White April / Reese, Licette W. 1930
Box 9 Wonders of Italy / Fathroso, Joseph, ed. 1930
Box 10 Putnam's Monthly September 1853
The Theatre
Box 10 June to Christmas, 1907 (5 folders)
Box 10 April, 1908
Box 10 May, 1908
Box 10 March, 1909
Box 10 March, 1910
Box 10 April, 1910
Box 10 October, 1910
Box 10 November, 1910
Box 10 November, 1913
Box 10 October, 1914
Box 10 March, 1915
Box 11 May, 1915
Box 11 December, 1915
Box 11 May, 1916
Box 11 The Westminster Review January, 1891; July, 1871 (2 folders)
Newspaper clippings about
Box 11 Miscellaneous 1945, 1947
Newspaper clippings about others
Box 11 Miscellaneous 1916, 1921, 1923, 1938, undated

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