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The University of Iowa Libraries

Special Collections and University Archives

Finding Aid

Papers of Carl Backman
Collection Dates: @1894-1960

Access and Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Digital Surrogates: Except where indicated, this document describes but does not reproduce the actual text, images and objects which make up this collection. Materials are available only in the Special Collections Department.

Copyright: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Use of Collections: The University of Iowa Libraries supports access to the materials, published and unpublished, in its collections. Nonetheless, access to some items may be restricted by their fragile condition or by contractual agreement with donors, and it may not be possible at all times to provide appropriate machinery for reading, viewing or accessing non-paper-based materials. Please read our Use of Manuscripts Statement.

Acquisition and Processing Information: Gift of Carl Backman.

Photographs: Box1, 3

Portrait of Carl Backman

Scope and Contents

The Carl E. Backman collection is made up of a variety of materials about the Chautauqua circuit. Many of these are specific to the Redpath Bureau, but other lyceum bureaus do have some material here. Included in these materials are financial papers, various correspondance, playbills, talent lists and more. One item of note is a Gallery of Players published in 1894. In this book there are many full page photographs of some of the more prominent talents of the time. The actors may not be part of the Chautauqua circuit.

There is also a collection of materials related to Gay MacLaren. These include correspondance, photographs,
newspaper clippings and some writings.

Biographical Note

Carl E. Backman was employed by the Redpath Bureau. He suceeded L. B. Crotty as manager of the Western Department in Chicago. He died in 1973. Carl Backman was married to Chautauqua performer Gay MacLaren. A wedding invitation in the collection indicates that they may have been married in 1937. MacLaren was a sucessful actress and singer, performing across the country. She wrote a book about her experiences on the Chautauqua circuit titled "Morally We Roll Along."

Elizabeth Roberts 2007

Related Materials

Records of the Redpath Lyceum Bureau, MsC 150  Please note the list of additional mini-collections of Chautauqua material at the end of the Redpath finding aid.

Box Contents List

Box 1

Folder 1 Canadian Chautauqua Service.
Includes a program and an announcement of talent available.

Folder 2 International Lyceum Association
Clippings, directories, correspondance, programs and business papers of the International Lyceum Association. Included is a "Plan for a National Campaign to Sell 1,000,000 Smileage Books"

Folder 3 Lincoln Chautauqua
Handbooks, programs and a few business papers of the Lincoln Chautauqua System.

Folder 4 Redpath Bureau, Bulletins
Bulletins from the Redpath Bureau.

Folder 5 Redpath Bureau, Correspondence
Various correspondence, including a number of Carl Backman's.

Folder 6 Redpath Bureau, Correspondence, Harry P. Harrison
Correspondence and a few other papers of Harry P. Harrison.

Folder 7 Redpath Bureau, Financial
Financial reports and statements of the Redpath Bureau.

Folder 8 Redpath Bureau, Five Day de Luxe Circuits
Lists of costs, saleries and income, programs and other materials having to do with the five day curciut.

Folder 9 Redpath Bureau, History
Clippings, pamplets, photographs and music from the Redpath Bureau. Included is a book on the Gallery of
Players from the Illustrated American which has full page photographs of many Chautauqua performers.

Folder 10 Redpath Bureau, Legal, Agreements
Financial agreements and contracts of the Redpath Bureau.

Box 2

Folder 1 Redpath Bureau, Legal, Tax & Certificates
Income Tax statements from 1951 to 1959 and certificates of corporationship.

Folder 2 Redpath Bureau, Minute Books
A minute book documenting Redpath Bureau meetings from 1907 to 1914.

Folder 3 Redpath Bureau, Miscellaneous
Various handwritten ledgers and papers, as well as typed reports and a "Smileage" book

Folder 4 Redpath Bureau, Playbills
Playbills, some with photographs of the talent.

Folder 5 Redpath Bureau, Stock Certificates
Stock Certificates of the Redpath Bureau.

Folder 6 Redpath Bureau, Talent Lists, Schedules
Booklets and lists of the talent as well as information about the towns travelled to and schedules.

Folder 7 Redpath Bureau, Talent Lists, Price Lists, Ticket Information
Lists of ticket prices and talent saleries.

Folder 8 Slayton Lyceum Bureau
A lists of talent and a catalog including many photographs of the artists.

Folder 9 Standard Lecture Bureau, Des Moines
Memorandums and announcements of the Des Moines lecture bureau.

Box 3 - Gay MacLaren

Folder 1 Clippings
Various newspaper clippings about her and her performances.

Folder 2 Correspondence
Gay MacLaren's correspondence, some hand written.

Folder 3 Miscellanious
A poem written for MacLaren and some handwritten papers.

Folder 4 Publicity
Many reports from various towns on her performances, reviews of her book, photographs and other publicity.

Folder 5 Writings
Plays and writings both for and by Gay MacLaren