Collection MSS 012 - Evelyn Schneider Papers

Identity elements

Reference code

US MBE MSS 012

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Collection

Title

Evelyn Schneider Papers

Date(s)

  • 1912 - 1931 (Creation)

Extent

1 linear foot

Name of creator

(1903 -)

Biographical history

Evelyn Lenora Schneider was born in Revere, MA in 1903, the daughter of Charles and -------- Schneider. She attended Revere High School, where she was the treasurer of the Senior Class and active in the Dramatic Club. On September 20, 1921 at the age of 17, she enrolled in the freshman class at the Emerson College of Oratory. She studied at Emerson until 1925, when she received her B.L.I. Subsequently, she took extension courses at Brown University during the summer of 1931, and also at Boston University, where she returned in 1956 as a candidate for Master of Education degree.

Upon her graduation from Emerson, Evelyn worked as a dramatic counselor at a girl’s camp in West Dennis. Her professional career also included teaching public speaking and auditorium work at both Revere Junior and Senior High Schools, teaching Speech to special children in the Sharon High School System, and providing instruction in elocution to young children in her own home. In the tradition of instructors who will not teach what they themselves cannot do, Evelyn was an accomplished dramatic reader, impersonator, and story teller in her own right. In addition to giving performances as a solo artist, she was a founding member of Evmarede, a trio of women who sang, plated violin and piano, and gave dramatic readings to civic and social groups. This trio was still receiving favorable notices in the 1950’s, nearly thirty years after her graduation from Emerson. She was also very active in the Braintree Curtain Call Theater until the late 1970’s, an activity she shared with her husband Harold Pearl, who did all the theater’s photography.

Evelyn’s niece, Carole Nutile, described her as a woman who loved children and always seemed to be surrounded by them, even though she had none of her own. She was a “pied piper” of sorts, always telling them stories and playing catchy little tunes for them on the piano. Evelyn taught and influenced many students, including June Hamblin Mitchell, a long term Emerson faculty member. In an oral history tape located in the Emerson College Archives, June states that she learned about Emerson College from her high school drama teacher, a woman named Evelyn Schneider.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Evelyn Schneider papers are mostly class notes and exams, a scrapbook and other memorabilia from Evelyn’s student days at Emerson College of Oratory which provide a detailed overview of selected classroom sessions and extracurricular activities experienced by an Emerson student during the 1920’s. While the college catalogues from this era provide a general description of the subject matter to be covered in each course, these papers provide the researcher with a day to day record of the classroom experience as reported through the eyes and ears of a student. The notes record the knowledge that was imparted to students, and the tests show how their learning was measured. In addition, these papers shed light upon the courses as they were taught by some of Emerson’s first family of instructors, including Joseph Connors, Gertrude McQueston, Walter Bradley Tripp, Jessie E. and Henry L. Southwick, among others. Although Evelyn Schneider’s student records reveal that she took several courses in children’s theatre, there are few, if any, records of those classes to be found here.

System of arrangement

The classroom materials are arranged chronologically by scholastic year, and alphabetically by course title within each school year. Programs for recitals, plays and extracurricular activities are found at the end of each year’s section, as well as in the scrapbook which is part of this collection. Papers from classes taken post-Emerson at Brown University and Boston University are filed at the end of the series, as are miscellaneous teaching materials.

Freshman Year: Anatomy notebook (folder 1) includes detailed, hand drawn diagrams of human bone structure. Gymnasium notebook (folder 1) has instructions on how and why exercises are to be performed. A notebook kept for Rhetoric (folder 2) includes a revealing essay on “What is my ambition in Life and what do I desire to be.”

Sophomore Year: Includes course notes and exam books from Expressive Voice and Philosophy of Expression, both taught by J.E. Southwick (folder 4); a short play written by Evelyn Schneider for her Pantomime course (folder 4); and a Physical Culture notebook and Chart of the Emerson System of Physical Exercises (folder 4), both of which demonstrate the how and why of this system and its relationship to the overall Emerson philosophy.

Junior Year: Bible study course materials (folder 8) reflect the importance given to spiritual training as part of Emerson curriculum. In addition to the Normal Class notes, the Public Speaking course taught by Joseph E. Connor, and Storytelling course materials (folder 10) emphasize Emerson College’s role as a Normal training school. In each class, the subject matter or skill being discussed is frequently related to the educational experience, for example, public speaking concentrates on speaking to a classroom, storytelling features the examination of storytelling as an educational method.

Senior Year: Notes on a course in Children’s Theatre taught by Mary Winn (folder 13) are the only materials in this collection related to Emerson’s extensive coursework in this area. The materials from History of Oratory taught by Dean Harry S. Ross, and Public School Reading taught by President Henry L. Southwick (folder 14)m provide a good example of the formal notebooks students were required to keep. The materials from Public School Reading also include notes on a session entitled “Emerson Work and its application to Public Grammar School,” the objective of which is to form a class of teachers and disseminate the Emerson Method into the public school classrooms.

The programs found at the end of the materials for each scholastic year record the traditional events which were very much a part of student life at Emerson College of Oratory. They include the Annual Southwick Recitals, Senior Junior and Sophomore Recitals, Plays and Stunts, Debate, Gymnasium exhibitions, and Commencement ceremonies.

The Scrapbook contains materials from Evelyn’s high school and college days, comprising theater programs from both professional and local stock productions, newspaper clippings recording the activities of Evelyn and other Emersonians, and programs and souvenirs from various College related functions. Of special interest is a flyer advertising the public reader and Emerson faculty member Margarette Josephene Penick, and another advertising Evelyn Schneider herself.

Box List:
Folder Dates Contents
1 1921-1922 Freshman Year
2 1921-1922 Freshman Year
3 1921-1922 Programs
4 1922-1923 Sophomore Year
5 1922-1923 Sophomore Year
6 1922-1923 Sophomore Year
7 1922-1923 Programs
8 1923-1924 Junior Year
9 1923-1924 Junior Year
10 1923-1924 Junior Year
11 1923-1924 Programs
12 1924-1925 Senior Year
13 1924-1925 Senior Year
14 1924-1925 Senior Year
15 1924-1925 Programs
16 n.d. Extracurricular Activities
17 1925-1931 Post-Emerson Education
18 1925-1931 Post-Emerson Education
19 1925-1931 Post-Emerson Education
20 1925-1931 Post-Emerson Education
21 1925-1930 Programs
22 193?- Teaching Materials

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Conditions governing reproduction

Some materials may be subject to copyright. No part of the materials protected by copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

The papers of Evelyn Lenora Schneider were donated to the Emerson College Archives in November of 1983 by Robert and Carole Nutile of Tewksbury, MA. Carole was Evelyn’s niece.

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Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding aid created by Robert Flemming; last updated 21 April 2014 by Rosalie Gartner.

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