MacKaye Family papers, 1751 - 1998Manuscript ML-5

Introduction to the Collection

The MacKaye Family Papers contain materials documenting the life and career of four generations of the family. They include a large amount of personal and professional correspondence as well as original manuscripts and typescripts of plays, prose, masques, pageants, poetry, essays and articles. Of note are manuscript materials for Benton MacKaye's works on geotechnics entitled "Geotechnics of North America," and "From Geography to Geotechnics," as well as Percy MacKaye's biography and works on his father Steele MacKaye and the MacKaye family, entitled respectively, "Epoch," and "Annals of an Era."

In addition, there are numerous scrapbooks and photographs chronicling the development and creation of Steele and Percy MacKaye's public and private theatrical productions. Steele MacKaye's role as a dramatist, theater manager and inventor is evidenced through original broadsides, posters and documents relating to the Lyceum Theatre School of Acting, Francois Delsarte acting method, and MacKaye's Madison Square Theatre in New York. Mackaye's technical contributions to the theatre are shown through patent documents.

A large amount of manuscript materials for Percy MacKaye's dramatic works and publications are included as well as personal correspondence, financial records, business correspondence, programs, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, articles, photographs, theatrical stills and scrapbooks.

Benton Mackaye's role as a forester and conservationist is recorded through writings, bills, reports and charts of the many projects on natural resource planning he was involved with, such as the creation of the Appalachian Trail and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The collection also includes documentation of Benton's work for the US Government in both the Department of Labor and Forest Service. Many of these activities and interests are shown through newspaper and journal clippings, notes and notebooks as well as legal and financial documents, flyers, pamphlets, bulletins, journals, sketches and ephemeral materials.

The collection also includes a significant amount of material, private as well as professional, by Percy's wife Marion Morse MacKaye and his mother Mary Medbery MacKaye, as well as his children, Arvia, Robert Keith and Christy and disparate family members and spouses. Among these materials are drawings, sketches, paintings, writings, and teaching materials.

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