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Armond Fields American Theatre collection

Identifier: 0337

Scope and Content

The collection consists chiefly of materials which Armond Fields used or created during the course of his research into American vaudeville and early theatre. There are copies of photographs and a few originals of some of the stars about whom he wrote, as well as other material related to the Vaudeville era: sheet music, theatre programs, newspapers, etc. Also included in the collection are all Fields' research notes for his many books as well as the drafts of the manuscripts. In addition, the collection includes audiotapes of Fields' interviews with family members of some his subjects, and videotapes of early film footage.


  • 1856 - 2000
  • Majority of material found within 1895 - 1925


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 Head of the Music Library. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Music Library 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.

Biographical Note

Armond Fields (1930-2008) was an author, artist, art collector and business consultant. Born in Chicago, Illinois, to Louis Max and Esther Fields, he attended schools in the Mid-West. He received his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin (1953), M.A. from the University of Illinois (1955) and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1956). He wrote several biographies, primarily on vaudeville performers. His oil paintings, drawings and prints have been exhibited in the United States and Europe. He curated, wrote catalogues, and donated the art for various exhibitions (most recently: Paris, Turn-of-the-Century, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2003; Vaudeville is Dead! Long Live Vaudeville!, Doheny Library, University of Southern California, 2005). Fields also served as a consultant in the areas of market strategy and consumer behavior including as a self-employed marketing consultant (1969), for Interpublic Co. (marketing and research vice president, 1960-69), for Audio-Video Entertainment, Inc. (corporate officer, 2000-?) and for AltaVoice Communications (consumer behavior consultant, 2001?).

Fields was a social historian specializing in American popular theater from the late nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Fields began researching his own family's involvement with early musical theater in New York that led to a biography of his great-uncle Lew Fields From the Bowery to Broadway: Lew Fields and the Roots of American Popular Theatre (1993). He also wrote Eddie Foy: A Biography of the Early Popular Stage Comedian (1999), Lillian Russell: A Biography of "America's Beauty" (1999), James J. Corbett: A Biography of the Heavyweight Boxing Champion and Popular Theater Headliner (2001), Fred Stone: Circus Performer and Musical Comedy Star (2002), Sophie Tucker: First Lady of Show Business (2003), Maude Adams: Idol of American Theater, 1872-1953 (2004), Women Vaudeville Stars: Eighty Biographical Profiles (2006) and Tony Pastor, Father of Vaudeville (2007). He also authored a social reformist biography on Katharine Dexter McCormick: Pioneer for Women's Rights (2003). His interest in French culture resulted in publishing Henri Riviere (1983), George Auriol (1985) and Le Chat Noir: A Montmartre Cabaret and its Artists in Turn-of-the Century Paris (1993).


97 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



This collection documents the history of the American stage before talking cinema, reflecting the birth and death of vaudeville and the advent of the modern Broadway musical. The collection includes books, posters, theater programs, sheet-music covers, souvenirs, rare film footage of vaudevillians, including Weber & Fields, and manuscripts and research notes for Armond Fields' own books.

Processing Information

Collection arranged and described by Rob Gutner and Rohan Panikar. Materials in file folders were kept in their original order and described by their original file folder titles.

Finding Aid of the Armond Fields American Theatre collection
Rob Gutner and Jacqueline Morin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2022 July: Finding aid updated by Sue Luftschein to include 1 box of sheet music and two souvenir booklets.

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Music Library Repository

Doheny Memorial Library, G-24
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-1822 United States