USC Libraries

University of Southern California

skip navigation

Archives at USC

« back to Archives at USC Search

Finding Aid to the Sidney Morris Papers, circa 1910-2004

Finding aid prepared by Kyle Morgan, (c) 2014

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Summary Information

Repository
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Creator - Creator
Morris, Sidney, (Sidney Morris Fineberg), 1929-2002
Title
Sidney Morris papers
Collection no.
Coll2013.070
Date [inclusive]
circa 1910-2004
Extent
7.6 linear feet., 2 archive boxes + 2 archive cartons + 3 archive binders + 1 archive flat box
Language
English
Abstract
Essays, poetry, prose, scripts, playbills, posters, fliers, reviews, clippings, contracts, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, correspondence, biographical information, and personal papers documenting Sidney Morris and his lovers, friends, family, theater productions, and work with the intellectually disabled, 1910-2004. Morris was a playright of roughly 50 plays, including If This Isn't Love in 1982. Morris also wrote poetry and essays, and published articles on HIV/AIDS.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Sidney Morris Papers, Coll2013-070, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biography

Sidney Morris Fineberg, known as Sidney Morris, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1929. He first garnered notice in the theater world in 1963 with his New York production of A Gallery of Characters. Morris would write roughly 50 plays, over half of which were produced, including  If This Isn't Love in 1982, his most popular work. Morris wrote poetry and essays, and published articles on HIV/AIDS. He helped support himself by teaching special education classes and drama therapy workshops. He volunteered his time to Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE) and Cabrini Hospital, and was a member of the Dramatist's Guild, Poetry Society, Holocaust Generation After, and Eulenspiegel Society. Morris died after a years-long battle with AIDS in 2002. He was survived by his longtime partner, Bert Coffman.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Contents

Essays, poetry, prose, and scripts written or collected by Sidney Morris; playbills, posters, fliers, reviews, clippings, contracts, photographs, audio recordings, and video recordings from Morris' theater productions; and correspondence, photographs, awards, medical records, biographical information, and personal papers documenting Morris and his lovers, friends, family, and work with the intellectually disabled, circa 1910-2004.

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement

This collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1. Literature, 1982-2002, undated

Series 2. Personal and professional papers, 1934-2004

Series 3. Photographs and audiovisual materials, circa 1910-2004

Return to Table of Contents »


Administrative Information

Publication Information

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
(c) 2014
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California, 90007
(213) 821-2771
askone@usc.edu

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition

Date and method of acquisition unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Katrina Sire and Kyle Morgan, 2014.

Return to Table of Contents »


Related Materials

Separated Materials note

Separated to the ONE periodical collection

Cruise, v.8, no.36.

The James White Review, Spring/Summer 2002.

Michael's Thing, v.12, no.15, April 12, 1992.

PWA Coalition Newsline, February 1990.

Summer at SAGE, July-August 1993.

Topman, v.3, no.8, June 7, 1982.

Separated to the ONE poster collection

Danny Grossman Dance Company featuring a new work by Danny Grossman. Premiere Dance Theatre, Toronto. March 19-23, 1996.

Danny Grossman Dance Company photographic exhibition, 20th anniversary party. Premiere Dance Theatre, Toronto. March 25 - April 5, 1997.

A Queer Stand-Up Comedy Extravaganza featuring Mimi Gonzalez. Women in Music Productions. Best Western Primrose Hotel, Toronto. October 18, 1997.

Separated to the ONE audiovisual collection

April interview with Sydney Morris. (6 audiocassettes)

Daniel H. Conner poetry reading regarding living with AIDS and being a gay man. (VHS)

"The Effects of the Aging Process on the Treatment of 60+ Year Old Persons with HIV/AIDS." James Lomax moderator. SAGE's Second National Conference on Aging, New York City, May 5-6, 2000. (audiocassette)

Sydney Morris interview, time 1:29:31. (VHS)

Separated to the ONE pin collection

"sage" printed in gold on a black round pin.

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Gay men's writings, American

Subject(s)

  • Gay dramatists--United States
  • Gay theater

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

Series 1:  Literature 1982-2002, undated   1.6 linear feet.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in alphabetical order.

Scope and Contents

Essays, poetry, prose, and scripts written or collected by Sidney Morris, 1982-2002, undated. Note: Although no distinction has been made regarding the type of literature, the bulk of the listed titles are scripts.

Box Folder

 The Boy's Mother undated 

1 1-3

 Death of a Gay Boy undated 

1 4

 Diary of a Depressed Person undated 

1 5

 The Gallery of Characters undated 

1 6

 Girlie Boy undated 

1 7-8

 The Good Time Boys 1990 

1 9-12

 Holding onto Lorraine 1984 

1 13

 Hot Mamas! undated 

1 14

 If this Isn't Love 1982 

1 15

 If this Isn't Love 1982 

Scope and Contents

Published book with the cover torn off. Includes an inscription and minor edits.

2 29

 I'm the Boy's Mother 2002 

1 16

 The Journal and Writings of Daniel J.H. Conner 1989-1993 

1 17-18

 Life without Sex (by Ted Williams) undated 

1 19

 Mad about the Boy! undated 

1 20-21

 Mad about the Boy/So in Love 1995 

1 22

 The Magic Formula 1990 

1 23

 Marijuana Twilight undated 

1 24

 Milton's Way (by Ted Williams) undated 

1 25

 Nasty undated 

1 26

 Oh, Danny Boy! undated 

1 27

 Old Queen's Echo circa 1993-1994 

1 28-30

 One in Six undated 

1 31

 Salvatore 2002 

1 32

 Singer under Siege (by Carter and Sorenson) undated 

1 33

 Small Victories: A Journal of Courage undated 

1 34-35

 So in Love undated 

1 36

 Stiffs (by Daniel Haben Clark) 1997 

1 37

 A Summer's Day undated 

1 38

 Sydney and Cal undated 

1 39

 Toby undated 

1 40

 Uncle Yossil 1979-1980, 1990 

1 41-43

 Video Child undated 

1 44

 We've Got Today undated 

1 45

 We've Got Today (music) undated 

2 1

 Wind Beneath my Wings 1990 

2 2

 Essays 1993 

2 3

 Poetry 1999 

2 4

 Prose undated 

2 6-7

 Scripts undated 

2 8-15

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 2:  Personal and professional papers 1934-2004   2.6 linear feet.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in alphabetical order.

Scope and Contents

Playbills, posters, fliers, contracts, lawsuits, and reviews from Sidney Morris' theater productions, as well as correspondence, clippings, awards, medical records, biographical information, and personal papers from Morris' personal life, 1934-2002. Includes the files of Morris' partner, Bert Coffman, 1997-2004.

Box Folder

 Articles and reviews 1975-2001 

Scope and Contents note

Clippings of articles written by or about Morris and reviews of Morris' theater productions.

2 16-19

 Artwork undated   [oversized]

Scope and Contents

Primarily copies of artworks on standard paper.

8 1

 Awards, certificates, and a commemorative binder 1968-1994, undated 

2 20

 Calendars 1987-2002 

2 21

 Cass, Robert, files 1994, undated 

2 22

 Coffman, Bert, files 1997-2004 

Scope and Contents note

Includes Morris' memorial service materials.

2 23

 Contracts and lawsuits, professional 1982-2002 

3 1

 Correspondence 1958-2002 

2 24-26

 Dagron, Rene, correspondence and personal papers 1934-1988 

3 2-4

 Ephemera 1947-1999 

Scope and Contents note

Advertisements, clippings of articles and images, fliers, information on the intellectually disabled, maps, notes, theater programs, and war department materials.

2 27

 Fliers, programs, and reviews 1968-2001 

2 28

 Medical care records 1994-2002 

3 5

 Menorah and a Cabrini volunteer pin undated 

2 30

 Personal papers 1940-2002 

Scope and Contents note

Biographical information, financial records, identity cards, a birth certificate, housing leases, a handwritten will, applications for social services, notes, receipts, a high school yearbook, and other personal materials.

3 6

 Photograph album (blank) 1948-1982 

Scope and Contents note

The album pages have been photocopied, the photographs removed, and the contents listed in the Photographs and audiovisual materials series. The blank album provides a backup of the detailed descriptions that accompanied the photographs.

2 31

 Playbills from Morris' productions 1994-2000, undated 

2 32

 Posters from Morris' productions 1992-1996, undated   [oversized]

8 2

 Radiology negatives and reports 1998   [oversized]

8 3

 Resumes and obituary 1983-2003 

3 7

 Royalty letters 1977-1995 

2 33

 Talks 1998-2000, undated 

Scope and Contents note

Includes transcripts from talks Morris has given as well as fliers for the events where he gave those talks.

2 34

 Theater letterhead and contact information undated 

2 35

 Topping, David, correspondence 1936-1963 

3 8-10

Return to Table of Contents »


Series 3:  Photographs and audiovisual materials circa 1910-2004   3.4 linear feet.

Scope and Contents

Photographs of Sidney Morris and his lovers, friends, family, theater productions, and work with the intellectually disabled, circa 1910-2004. Includes audio and video recordings taken of or used in his theater productions.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into two sections: Personal and Theater.

 Personal circa 1910-2000 

Box Folder

 Animals, landscapes, and gravestones undated   47 black-and-white and 2 color photographic prints.

6 3

 Erotic undated   36 black-and-white and 10 color photographic prints.

6 4

 Family, friends, and lovers circa 1910-2000   135 black-and-white and 59 color photographic prints.

Scope and Contents

Includes photocopies of the Rene Dagron photograph album and the David Topping photograph album in their original layout. The photographs from those albums have been integrated with related photographs in approximate chronological order. Includes two drawings and one poem.

7 2

 Intellectually disabled 1968, undated   61 black-and-white and 39 color photographic prints.

Scope and Contents

Includes photocopies from a photograph album in its original layout and a pay stub.

6 2

 Negatives and 35mm slides circa 1948-2000   36 35mm slides, 14 negatives, and 5 negative strips.

Scope and Contents note

Photographs of Morris and his friends, family, travel, theater productions, and work with the intellectually disabled.

7 1

 Theater 1945-2000 

Box Folder

 Actors undated   19 black-and-white photographic prints.

6 1

 "The Beginning of Sidney Morris" theater album 1945-2000   51 black-and-white and 22 color photographic prints.

Scope and Contents note

Includes programs, fliers, tickets, and clippings documenting Sidney Morris' theater productions.

5 1
Box

 Sound recordings 1993-1994, undated   6 audiocassettes.

Scope and Contents

Audiocassette titles are as follows:

  • Open Act II
  • Bobby, August 20, 1994
  • Intermission Music, Twilight Ladies
  • We've Got Today, part 1 / end
  • Margie Barbershop Quartet / All my Life, Benny Goodman, April 24, 1936 / Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Dean Janis, Hal Kemp's Orchestra, October 31, 1933 / Too Late, Bing Crosby, 1930-1931 / Nevertheless, Ruth Etting
  • Old Times Nite, September 14, 1993
  • [Unintelligible title]

4

 Sound recordings undated   2 7-inch open-reel and 2 5-inch open-reel audiotapes.

Scope and Contents

2 audiotapes are unlabeled and 2 audiotapes have the following titles:

  • "...Love" pre-show and show
  • Richard's music

4
Box Folder

 Theater productions undated   16 black-and-white and 9 color photographic prints.

5 2
Box

 Video recordings 1968-1970   6 open-reel videotapes (1/2-inch width).

Scope and Contents

3 3-inch open-reel videotapes with the following titles:

  • Cats, part 1, June 25, 1970
  • Trail walk
  • Third

1 5-inch open-reel videotapes with the title: Summer 1968.

2 7-inch open-reel videotapes with the following titles:

  • QPS Summer Program, MY FIRST, August 1968
  • SUPER-8

4

Return to Table of Contents »