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Howard Ralston papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: 5069


Howard Ralston was an alumnus of the University of Southern California (class of 1930) and part of a family acting troupe as a child. Born in Bar Harbor, Maine in 1904, Ralston's family traveled around the country before eventually settling in Hollywood, California, where young Ralston became a featured player for five years. (One of his early film roles (1919) was opposite Mary Pickford in Polyanna.) Ralston graduated from University High School in 1925 which was a college preparatory school at the time associated with the University of Southern California. After college, Ralston went on to form the Ralston Players, a traveling stock company. Eventually he became the manager of several Warner Brothers theaters in Santa Barbara and San Bernardino and wrote a memoir of his life in show business called The Play's the Thing. Ralston passed away in 1992 at his home in Ventura.

This small collection is comprised chiefly of six pages of Ralston's scrapbook containing memorabilia from his childhood, high school days, and years at USC. Affixed to the pages are a variety of photographs, clippings, fraternity ephemera, sports ticket stubs, dance cards, programs, etc. There are also five USC football tickets which had been one time separated from the collection (there were supposed to be six), but have been re-integrated with the scrapbook in a separate envelope. A flyer for Ralston's monograph The Play's the Thing, including order blank, is also included. (The book was published in 1988 and a copy was catalogued for USC's Special Collections.)


  • Creation: 1917-1988
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1920s


Conditions Governing Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for access.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Manuscripts Librarian. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections 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.


1 linear foot. (1 box)

Language of Materials


Finding Aid of the Howard Ralston papers
Jacqueline Morin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States