17.520 new on WWW: American Memory: The Zora Neale Hurston Plays

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Tue Jan 13 2004 - 04:34:53 EST

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 520.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

         Date: Tue, 13 Jan 2004 09:21:04 +0000
         From: <dgants@rogers.com>
         Subject: Library of Congress American Memory: The Zora Neale Hurston

> From: "Laura Gottesman" <lgot@loc.gov>
> Date: 2004/01/07 Wed PM 01:37:55 EST
> > Plays
> The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the online release of
> The Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress, available on
> the American Memory Web site at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/znhhtml
> The Zora Neale Hurston Plays collection at the Library of Congress
> present a selection of ten plays written by Hurston, author,
> anthropologist, and folklorist. Deposited in the United States Copyright
> Office between 1925 and 1944, most of the plays remained unpublished and
> unproduced until they were rediscovered in the Copyright Deposit Drama
> Collection in 1997. The plays reflect Hurston's life experience,
> travels, and research, especially her study of folklore in the
> African-American South. Totaling seven hundred images, the scripts are
> housed in the Library's Manuscript, Music, and Rare Books and Special
> Collections Divisions.
> Zora Neale Hurston (1891-1960), the author of the ten plays (with
> co-authors Langston Hughes on Mule-Bone and Dorothy Waring on Polk
> County), deposited these scripts with the United States Copyright Office
> between 1925 and 1944. Included in the scanned materials are four very
> short plays (sketches or skits) and six full-length plays. Most are
> light-hearted if not outright comedies, and several include song lyrics
> without the associated music. Hurston knew the songs and the subjects
> of these plays from her own upbringing and her professional folklore
> research in the African-American South. She identified as her hometown
> Eatonville, Florida, the first African-American incorporated township.
> During the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, Hurston traveled the American South
> collecting and recording the sounds and songs of her people, while her
> research in Haiti is reflected in the voodoo scenes and beliefs woven
> into several of the plays.
> With the exception of Mule-Bone, the plays presented here were all
> unpublished when they were rediscovered in the Library of Congress in
> 1997. At that time, only Polk County was at all familiar to scholars on
> the basis of copies in other repositories. Little was known about
> Hurston's theatrical career until 1998, when scholarly publications
> began to reflect the drama discoveries announced by the Library of
> Congress. The discovery of the scripts, added to those Hurston plays
> already known, firmly establishes their author, an African-American
> woman, as a significant dramatist of the twentieth century.
> American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating
> to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more
> than 8 million digital items from more than 120 historical collections.
> Please submit any questions you may have via the American Memory web
> form at: http://www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/ask-memory2.html

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