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1995-1996 index

Distributed December 8, 1995
Contact: Richard Morin

From "I Love Lucy" to the "Green Hornet"

Local collector donates entertainment memorabilia to Brown

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Rhode Island collector Robert J. Tierney Jr. has given Brown University's John Hay Library his collection of more than 350 radio and television scripts and other entertainment ephemera. The Robert J. Tierney Jr. Entertainment Memorabilia Collection contains printed radio and television scripts from such well-known shows as "The Jack Benny Show," "The Jackie Gleason Show," "Dragnet," "I Love Lucy," "The Green Hornet" and "Batman."

"It is remarkable for its breadth and quality, particularly for its radio and television scripts, which, to judge by the correspondence included, Mr. Tierney went through considerable trouble to obtain," said Mark Brown, curator of manuscripts at the John Hay Library.

Tierney, a resident of Pawtucket, R.I., spent more than 50 years gathering scripts, mostly by conducting a persistent one-man letter writing campaign. Many of the scripts in the collection are accompanied by letters of rejection and other correspondence from production companies, networks and advertising agencies. "Somehow he got them, though," Brown said. The scripts represent an excellent sampling of 1950s-1960s shows, including musical variety, science fiction, drama, mystery, westerns and comedies.

The collection also includes several thousand posters, programs, playbills, promotional brochures, handbills, photographs and tickets to performances primarily in the Providence area that Tierney gathered from local and regional theaters. There are also several hundred itineraries for big bands, musicians and other performers as well as play lists for their performances. "The additional material relating to performances and events in the Providence area should become a valuable, comprehensive historical record of entertainment for the years in which Mr. Tierney collected," Brown said.

The Robert J. Tierney Jr. Entertainment Memorabilia Collection will make an excellent supplement to the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays housed in the John Hay Library, according to Brown.