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F. Curtis Canfield (AC 1925) Papers

Identifier: MA.00081

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection is made up of notes and other materials relating to Canfield's courses, lectures, and speeches, spanning his careers at Amherst, Yale and the University of Pittsburgh. The papers also include some correspondence, newspaper clippings, and material for his books, as well as a few framed portraits and photographs.


  • Creation: 1929-1981


Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the F. Curtis Canfield Papers for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the F. Curtis Canfield Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Biographical / Historical

Fayette Curtis Canfield (AC 1925), drama professor and director, was born on July 29, 1903 in Bridgeport, Connecticut. After his graduation in 1925, he worked at Amherst as Professor of Theatre and Dramatic Art until 1954. From 1938 onwards, he was also Director of Amherst's Kirby Theater. In 1954, he was appointed the first dean of the Yale University School of Drama, a position he held for thirteen years. He left Yale in 1967 to teach Theatre Arts at the University of Pittsburgh, where he stayed until his retirement in 1973. Canfield was a trustee of the National Theatre Conference from 1958 to 1964 and of the American Shakespeare Theatre Festival Academy from 1962 to 1968; and a member of the Century Association of New York from 1953 to 1971. He was awarded honorary degrees by Amherst and Emerson Colleges, and by Yale University. Canfield was married to Katherine F. Newbold on May 21, 1927. He died in Northampton on June 8, 1986, at the age of 82.

Canfield wrote and edited several books on theatre, including Plays of the Irish Renaissance (1929), Plays of Changing Ireland (1936), The Seed and the Sowers: A Chronicle of the Founding of Amherst College (1955), and The Craft of Play Directing (1963).


4.5 Linear feet (3 records storage boxes, 1 archives box, 2 oversize flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Drama professor and director. Collection includes course and lecture notes, as well as some correspondence, newspaper clippings, framed portraits and photographs, and material for Canfield's books.


This collection is organized into six series:

  1. Series 1: University of Pittsburgh, 1967-1973
  2. Series 2: Amherst College, 1929-1980
  3. Series 3: Yale University, 1954-1992
  4. Series 4: Miscellaneous, 1936-1981
  5. Series 5: Portraits and Photographs, 1946, undated
  6. Series 6: The Craft of Play Directing (book), circa 1963

Related Materials

  1. Alumni biographical files - Class of 1925 - Canfield, F. Curtis
  2. Amherst College Dramatic Activities Collection
Sarang Gopalakrishnan, Peter Nelson
Language of description
Script of description
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299