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The study of rhetoric and performance has been a part of the curriculum of the University of Oregon since it opened its doors in 1877; the Department of Speech also used to offer classes in radio, film, theatre study, and also dramatic performance. The bulk of the collection (1948-1999) consists of records when the Department of Speech was heavily involved with theatre performance.
Horace Robinson (1909-2009), Professor Emeritus of the University of Oregon, served on the faculty as technical director, scene designer, and director of the University of Oregon Theatre. Papers include manuscripts, scripts, scores and other creative works from productions at the University Theatre, photographs, and records of Robinson's involvement in local, national, and international professional and community service organizations.
Theatre productions were performed at University of Oregon long before the University Theatre was built in 1949; the Horace Robinson Theatre (as it is now known) is used primarily for Department of Theatre Arts productions. The collection (1909-2009) contains annual reports, publicity materials, production reports, photographs and slides, reviews, correspondence, meeting minutes, and also records from Carnival Theater and Very Little Theatre.