Fred Koch collection, 1823-1944

By Mark Lotz, Student Assistant under the supervision of Esperanza B. Varona.

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Collection Overview

Title: Fred Koch collection, 1823-1944

Predominant Dates:1905-1944

ID: ASM0117

Creator: Koch, Fred (1877-1944)

Extent: 41.0 Boxes. More info below.



Box No. 01

North Dakota Material. 1905-1918.

This series contains material pertaining to Koch's tenure at the University of North Dakota including plays written by his students (1).


Box No. 02-08

University of N. Carolina/Playmakers Material. 1918-1944.

This series contains material about the Carolina Playmakers (2), articles written by or about Koch (3), lantern slides about the Carolina Playmakers (4),and class, lecture, and other university material (5-8).


Box No. 09-10

Correspondence/Green, Anderson, Wolfe/Miscellaneous. 1929-1944.

This series contains Koch's correspondence and material on Thomas Wolfe, Paul Green, and Maxwell Anderson (9-10). In addition, box 10 contains Koch miscellanea.


Box No. 11-32

Theatre Magazines/Theatre Programs. 1823-1944.

This series contains theatre magazines and play programs including some from the Carolina Playmakers (11-12). It also includes New York theatre programs

(13-25), and copies of the Playbill for New York theatres (26-29). The final section of the series is of theater programs of community and university theatres and the New York Theatre Guild (30-32).


Box No. 33-37

Koch Collection of Plays and Books.[N.d.]

This series contain plays and books collected by Koch throughout his lifetime (33-37).

Box No. 38-41

Playmakers and Rare Programs. 1823-1943.

This series contains theatre programs from the Carolina Playmakers (38), and rare theatre programs dating as early as 1823 (39-41).

Languages: English, French, Spanish;Castilian

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The personal papers of Frederick H. Koch, dramatist and educator, were donated to the University of Miami Archives by his son Fred H. Koch Jr., a Professor in Drama here at the University of Miami from 1939 to 1977.  The collection was received in the early 1950's.  Frederick H. Koch was a famous dramatist and gained fame from the founding of two major college theatre troupes as well as through his involvement in the production of native American folk drama.

The Frederick H. Koch Collection contains the personal papers of Frederick H. Koch and material he collected throughout his lifetime.  The material extends from 1823 to 1947, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period of time between 1905 and 1944.  The bulk of the collection is composed of theatre programs collected by Koch.  These come mainly from New York but there is a good selection of theatre programs from other parts of the United States.  Many of these programs date prior to Koch's birth.

The personal papers are composed mainly of material from Koch's work as an English and drama professor at the University of North Dakota (1905-1918) and the University of North Carolina (1918-1944), including a large number of folk plays written by his students.

The correspondence in the collection is mainly correspondence within the Koch family, including many letters between Koch and his four sons: Robert, Fred Jr., Bill, and George.

Of special interest to the University of Miami is a folder containing material related to the University and the University of Miami Playmakers founded by Fred H. Koch Jr. in the 1940's.

Biographical Note

Frederick H. Koch was born at Covington, Kentucky September 12, 1877. He attended Ohio Wesleyan University and graduated in 1900. In 1905 he began his professional career as instructor in English at the University of North Dakota; and held in turn the posts of assistant professor (1907), associate professor (1914), and Professor of Dramatic Literature (1917). There he founded the Sock and Buskin Society in 1901 of which Maxwell Anderson was an original member. He later founded the Dakota Playmakers in 1910.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 13.6 linear ft.

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research, but is kept in an off campus storage facility. Please allow up to 72 hours for delivery of requested materials.

Use Restrictions: Fred Koch Collection finding aid © 1981 University of Miami. Requests to reproduce or publish materials from this collection should be directed to

Related Materials: See also Helen S. Sternfels Collection (ASM0186) for other New York playbills and programs.

Preferred Citation: Fred Koch Collection, Special Collections Division, University of Miami Libraries, Coral Gables, Florida.

Finding Aid Revision History: Revised by Rudo Kemper, 2009.

Container List (PDF):

Box and Folder Listing

Box 1: North Dakota Material, 1914-1918Add to your cart.
Folder 1: North Dakota MaterialAdd to your cart.

The Quarterly Journal of the University of North

Dakota. Vol. 9, no. 1. October 1918.

Poem on notecard

"Towards a New Folk Theatre", article by Koch

Program of the 1916-1917 tour of the Sock and Buskin Society.

Feb. 1918 program of the Dakota Playmakers

"Boys of Dakota", poem by Koch, 1918.

The Literary Digest, July 25, 1914.

National Community Center Conference, 1917, Program "A Pageant of the Prairies", article in The Survey, Vol. 22, no. 14. July 4, 1914.

"Dakota Prairies", poem by Koch.

Miscellaneous notes.

A review of the University of North Dakota's drama department by Hiram K. Moderwell, Boston Transcript, 1916.

"Playmakers of Dakota - The Account of a Man and an Idea", by Franz Rickaby. May, 1918.

"Drama for Rural Communities" article in The American Review of Reviews, Sep. 1916.

"Side Tracking the Movies", article in The Minnesotan.

Newspaper articles pertaining to:

-The Shakespeare Pageant (35)

-Pageant of the Northwest (9)

-Playmakers first annual tour (5)

-University Drama Department (27)

-Bankside Theatre (6)

-Frederick Koch (7)

High school declamation contest announcement 1909

Financial report for the 1916 Shakespeare pageant

Folder 2: Original Plays by Koch's Students at the University of North DakotaAdd to your cart.
"How Daddy O'Donnell Had His Way", "Turribly Sot" by Clara Struble, "Home Fires" by Harold H. Wylie, "Back to the Old Farm" by Arthur C. Cloetingh, "Morgan of Hinchinbrook" by Howard Hustow and B. Melvin Johnson., "Sold" by Clara Struble, "Woman Disposes" by Harriet McConville, "House Cleaning" by Harriet McConville, "Her Voice" by Agnes Gonnor, "The Song of Songs" by K.R. Holtz, "A Sorority Flurry", "Nature Wins", "The Murphy That Saved America" by John F. Como, "The Obstacle" by Rugh O. Weeks, "Butterflies" by Clara Struble, "Patsy Puts It Over", "Becca", "All's Well That Ends Well", "A Man of Mystery", "Big Green Prikles" by Howard R. Hustow, "Jimmy Al Scott" by Benjamin F. Sherman, "In Search of Originality" by Ruth O. Weeks, "The Rain Fairies Dance in the Wind" by Ruth O. Weeks, "Wanted - A Farmer" by Melvin Johnson, "Patriotism" by Melvin Johnson, 3 Original Plays by Koch's Students at the University Of North Dakota: "Moonlight" by Ben F. Sherman, "Children" by Ruth O. Weeks, "Our Uncle's Will" by Ruth O. Weeks., "Are You Guilty", "Velvet" by Ruth O. Weeks, "The Old Order Changeth", "Finished, or Back on the Old Farm" by Arthur Cloeting, "Sammy et Mademoiselle" by Elizabeth Virginia Kelly, "Oh Silver" by Howard DeLong, "Among Thieves" by Dudley C. Schnabel, "The Little Gray Lady" by Elizabeth Virginia Kelly, "Lonely Hearts", "Henri Perrier" by Howard DeLong, "Dakota Dick" by Harold H. Wylie, "Barley Beards" by Howard DeLong, "Cast of Characters", "The Spirit of Christmas" by Lillian, Franc, and Rickaby, "For the Colleen", "Slim", "Me an' Bill" by Benjamin F. Sherman
Folder 3Add to your cart.

"Lilacs" by Agnes Gonnor



"Gladys and Her Gown"

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