The Claude Rains collection consists of manuscripts, correspondence, legal and financial material, printed material, scrapbooks, personal memorabilia, and other items.
Manuscripts in the collection includes many manuscripts related to the various media in which Rains worked, including film, television, radio, and the stage. Radio works include over one thousand stories from the Presenting Claude Rains radio show. Screenplays include Camelot, The Greatest Story Ever Told, The Third Day, and Lawrence of Arabia . Stage plays include A Clean Kill, The Burnt Flower Bed, Tristram, and Night of the Auk . Other manuscripts includes speeches delivered by Rains on such topics as supporting Franklin D. Roosevelt and encouraging patriotic support of the United States; several short stories by Alexander Woolcott and E. Nolt; press releases; various narrations; and ten teleplays.
Correspondence in the collection is not extensive, but does include notable letters to Rains from George Bernard Shaw, Bette Davis, Aaron Copland, Rick Lenz, John Soister, and Liz Pierce, as well as two letters from Rains.
Legal and financial material in the collection includes a trial list for Chester County, Pennsylvania, 1953; and a variety of notes, forms, bills, telegrams and records of wages and payments dating from 1928 to 1967.
Printed material in the collection includes programs, advertisement fliers, and magazines from dramatic performances by Rains during the 1950’s and 1960’s, as well as for Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Periodical titles of include Theatre Arts, Life, International Photographer, TV Guide, Newsweek, and several literary journals printed in the early 1950s. The collection also includes an assortment of literary journals clippings, sheet music, and material for literary readings performed by Rains. The collection also has scripts for readings of other authors’ work performed by Rains.
Photographs in the collection include several dozen publicity photographs of Rains. The images portray Rains in both his personal and professional lives. A number of photographs have been signed by Rains. Included are portraits or Rains, Rains seated, driving a car, working his farm, reading a script, giving a speech, and accepting a gift. There are also numerous stills of Rains and other cast members of over twenty motion pictures. Some titles include Mr. Skeffington, Casablanca, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Lawrence of Arabia, Notorious, Phantom of the Opera, The Last Outpost, and more.
There are three scrapbooks in the collection. One contains newspaper clippings from the 1930s. Another contains reviews and advertisements regarding Darkness at Noon . The third scrapbooks contains various assembled items regarding Rains' career, including photographs, clippings, programs, and other material.
Personal memorabilia in the collection includes nomination certificates for the Academy Awards; certificates from several Universities and theater groups; a medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; four hats worn by Rains, and handwritten notes by Rains.Other items in the collection includes audio recordings and several pieces of artwork, including paintings and sketches.