Papers of Pearl Leigh Buchanan,1878-1963
- Papers of Pearl Leigh Buchanan,1878-1963
- Buchanan, Pearl Leigh, 1893-1983
- 3.6 cubic feet, 2,500 items, 3 boxes, 8 wrapped packets
- Eastern Kentucky University
- Biography / History
- Pearl Leigh Buchanan was born on December 21, 1893 in Virginia. Her parents were C.H. and Margaret Bassette Buchanan. Mr. Buchanan was a Methodist minister and Mrs Buchanan was a writer, who wrote under the pen name Maggie May. Her works were occasionally published in the Nashville Banner newspaper. They moved frequently during Miss Buchanan's early childhood, and was taught at home until she entered third grade at Southern Seminary for Young Ladies in Texas. She received a diploma from Mexia High School, Mexia, Texas.
- She was next enrolled in College for Young Females then in San Antonio Female College in Texas. She often remarked that she hated the word "Female" in reference to her schools. She received a Bachelor of Literature degree from San Antonio Female College in 1913. She then attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas and was granted a B.A. degree there in 1915. In the following years she studied speech and drama at Northwestern University at Evanston, Illinios. In 1929 she graduated with a master's degree from George Peabody College for Teachers in Nashville.
- Over the years she attended numerous workshops and conferences to keep abreast of changing methods. In 1957, she attended Edinburgh University where she studied speech. Miss Buchanan was a charter member and first president of the Kentucky Speech Association. She was also a charter member of the Southern Speech Association and active in the American Association of University Women.
- Miss Buchanan was deeply involved in genealogy. Her folders contain a book giving copious notes on the Buchanan family. Her personal lineage is included. She was very proud of her inclusion in the Daughters of the American Rvolution and United Daughters of the Confederacy. Miss Buchanan authored a book of poetry, A Late Lark (1972), which was published under the name Gwinette. Several of her short stories were also published.
- For many years she served in various roles at the speech and drama festivals and clinics both locally and throughout the Commonwealth. Honors she received include being named the honorary page in the Kentucky House of Representatives as a Kentucky Colonel. She was also named an honorary citizen of Tennessee by Governor Frank H. Clement. A world traveler, Miss Buchanan visited forty-eight out of the fifty states, fifty-four foreign countries, and the Artic Circle. In her time she piloted a plane, a ship, and a locomotive. She was interested in the theater, dance, and music. Her collection of programs from these events show her deep interest in cultural activities. She taught at Eastern for forty-one years, 1923-64 and from 1923-1942, she was sponsor and director of the Little Theatre Club. During her term, emphasis was placed on Shakespearean drama, although light comedies were sometimes presented. Another of her duties was the supervision and selection of students who ushered at university functions. At Eastern, Miss Buchanan was an associate professor of English. She taught a variety of courses but favored her classes in interpretative reading.
- In poor health, she retired in 1964. At that time it was suggested to President Martin by Evelyn Bradley that the Little Theater in the Keen Johnson building be renamed the Pearl Buchanan Theater. This was done in 1964. Her last months were spent at the Kenwood Nursing Home in Richmond. She died on December 19, 1983 and was interred in the Richmond Cemetery.
- Scope and Content
- The papers of Pearl Leigh Buchanan were donated to Eastern Kentucky University by Mrs. Elizabeth Bassette of Nashville, Tennessee, a cousin of Miss Buchanan, through Francis Mason of Richmond in 1984. Since the papers were not organized, the Archives staff arranged them into four categories: scrapbooks, photographs, certificates diplomas, and a miscellaneous series. While the scrapbooks are wrapped separately, the other items are arranged in three boxes, each with a folder title. Much of the contents of these papers are clippings, and programs demonstrating Miss Buchanan's love of the theatre. One book is photographs of Miss Buchanan and family. Certain certificates and diplomas awarded to Miss Buchanan are included in Box 1. The Miscellaneous category contains genealogical and personal items, some of these are her father's Bible, a short autobiography, and Buchanan's thesis from George Peabody Teacher's College in Nashville.
- These papers will prove invaluable to those doing research on the Little Theatre Club at Eastern or the American theatre in general during the 1920s-1940s.
Contents of the Collection
Mexia High School diploma, May 26, 1911.
- Box 1, folder 1
San Antonio Female College, certificate of proficiency in Latin
- Box 1, folder 2
San Antonio Female College diploma, May 5, 1913.
- Box 1, folder 3
Pi Gamma Mu. Pearl Buchanan, September 14, 1926.
- Box 1, folder 4
Diploma from George Peabody College for Teachers bestowing Master of Arts degree upon Pearl L. Buchanan, August 24, 1929.
- Box 1, folder 5
DAR Certificate: Pearl Leigh Buchanan, November 7, 1931
- Box 1, folder 6
DAR Certificate: Margaret Gwin Bassette Buchanan, July 7, 1933.
- Box 1, folder 7
Certificate of Merit in Genealogy presented to Margaret Buchanan, December 27, 1938.
- Box 1, folder 8
House of Representatives of Kentucky. Certificate as honorary page. April 12, 1956. Requested by Clarence H. Bates
- Box 1, folder 9
Declaration of honorary citzenship in TN for Miss Pearl Buchanan. 1963. Signed by Frank Clement, Governor of Tennessee.
- Box 1, folder 10
Stenographer's notebook containing autobiographical notes by Charles H. Buchanan in his handwriting. n.d.
- Box 2, folder 1
The Polyglot Bible belonging to Rev. C.H. Buchanan. 1886
- Box 2, folder 2
Notebook containing genealogical information of the Buchanan family
- Box 2, folder 3
Thesis: Pearl Leigh Buchanan. An Experiemental Study of Adult Reading Abilities." George Peabody College for Teachers. Aug 1929.
- Box 2, folder 4
Lineage. Miss Buchanan1s direct line.
- Box 2, folder 5
Short autobiography of Miss Buchanan Clipping from Eastern Progress student newspaper. 1957.
- Box 2, folder 6
Water color of rose by Maude Gibson. 1951.
- Box 2, folder 7
Individual photographs of Pearl Buchanan, 1894-1956.
1-5 Miss Buchanan as an infant and young child 1899-1900; 6-10 Miss Buchanan as a young women. ca. 1908-1914; 11-18 Miss Buchanan after college. ca. 1920-25; 19-22 Miss Buchanan as maturing woman at Eastern ca. 1930-40; 23-27 Miss Buchanan before her retirement. ca. 1950-56
- Box 3, folder 1
Margaret Bassette Buchanan and Charles Buchanan. 1878-1889
1-4 Margaret Gwin Bassette Buchanan. 1878-1889; 5 Charles H. Buchanan. 1880
- Box 3, folder 2
Unidentified play given in Hiram Brock Auditorium. ca. 1930, numbers 1-9
1-9 Unidentified photographs. ca. 1930.
- Box 3, folder 3
Pioneer Play, unidentified, n.d., numbers 1-3
1 Photograph of cast; 2 Slide of photo; 3 Guide to names of cast members
- Box 3, folder 4
Twelth Night. ca. 1938, numbers 1-27.
1-10 8" x 10" photographs; 11 5" x 7" photographs; 12-20 3" x 5" photographs; 21-27 2" x 4" photographs
- Box 3, folder 5
Romeo and Juliet. 1938, numbers 1-23
1 - 2 Unidentified 8" x 10" photographs; 3 -19 Unidentified 5" x 7" photographs; 20-23 Unidentified~4'1 x 6" photographs
- Box 3, folder 6
Merchant of Venice. ca. 1938, numbers 1-13
1-7 8" x 10" photographs; 8-13 5" x 7" photographs
- Box 3, folder 7
Little Theatre members. ca. 1930s, numbers 1-36
1 Lenorne Caywood; 2 Marguerite Henzmann; 3 Margaret Hubbard (2 copies); 4 Curtis Burman; 5 Luther C. Jones; 6 Sue Toadvine (2 copies); 7 Jack Hughes; 8 Barbara Congleton; 9 Unidentified woman; 10 Jim Hart; 11 May Agnes Finneran; 12 Oscar Estes; 13 Francis Mason; 14 Donald Dorris; 15 J.A. McCord; 16 Carolyn Moores; 17 Sara White; 18 Garnett Hanshaw; 19 Frances Little; 20 Raymond Van Winkle; 21 Leonard Stafford; 22 Willie McKee; 23 Jack Hughes; 24 Opal Hanshaw; 25 Elizabeth Elmore; 26 Ann Stigertz; 27 Ann Ingels; 28 Louis Kendall; 29 Maude McLaughlin; 30-33 Unidentified woman; 34-36 Unidentified man
- Box 3, folder 8
Miscellaneous. n.d, numbers 1-2
1-2 Copies of young women in evening dresses
- Box 3, folder 9