The Brian Kellow collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, printed material, professional materials, research materials, audio materials, and film and video.
The collection includes manuscripts for Kellow’s biographical works: Ethel Merman: A Life, Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark, The Bennetts: An Acting Family; and Can I Go Now? The Life of Sue Mengers. All biographical manuscripts are marked with holograph corrections. Additional items include transcripts of interviews with Anne Blythe, James Conlon, Eileen Farrell, Audra McDonald, Jane Powell, Bryn Terfel, and Dolora Zajick, among others. Of particular interest is a manuscript of Kellow’s eulogy for Eileen Farrell.
Correspondence includes letters, greeting cards, and emails, is largely professional, concerning opera productions, Opera News (for which he is the features editor), and publication efforts for Merman, Bennetts, and Can’t Help Singing: The Life of Eileen Farrell. Kellow's exchanges with composers, actors, and singers are also present; notables include Pat Carroll, Stephen Dunn, Joan Fontaine, Olivia de Havilland, Jake Heggie, Rebecca Luker, and Tobias Picker.
Printed material in the collection are constituted by clippings, printouts, booklets, playbills and programs (including
81 programs dating from 2001 to 2005). Page proofs for Ethel Merman are also included.
The collection’s professional materials include a number of subject files that may contain manuscripts, correspondence, printed materials, legal materials, financial materials, and more. Subjects range from Kellow's written works ("New York City Opera Story"; The Bennetts; and Can't Help Singing) to productions of Annie Get Your Gun, Anything Goes, Girl Crazy, Gypsy, and Take a Chance. Other files pertain to individuals such as George Abbot, Irving Berlin, Ernest Borgnine, Jimmy Durante, Betty Grable, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Stephen Sondheim, as well as Ethel Merman, for whom materials are particularly comprehensive.
Research materials in the collection pertain primarily to The Bennetts and include printed materials, interviews, legal documents, notes, and photographs. Individual files include items that regard Richard Bennett; Barbara, Constance, and Joan (daughters); also included are research materials for Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark.
Audio material in the collection includes a variety of cassette tapes and CDs that chronicle Kellow's interviews with figures such as James Conlon, Marta Eggerth, Rodney Gildrey, Jane Powell, John Sutherland, Deborah Voigt, and more.
A DVD of Merman's performances assembled by Kellow is also present.