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SCU Digital Collections

About this collection

Clay M. Greene was an American playwright, director and alumnus of Santa Clara College. He  was born on March 12, 1850 in San Francisco, California. As a young man Greene worked as a newspaperman, writing for The Golden Era and its competitor The Argonaut. In 1878, Greene relocated to New York, where he believed his work would flourish, and eventually, it did. Over his career, seventeen of Greene’s thirty-three full length plays became Broadway productions. As a gift to his alma mater, Greene wrote and produced Nazareth: The Passion Play of Santa Clara. Greene’s Passion Play was performed for the first time at Santa Clara College’s Golden Jubilee in 1901 and enjoyed continued success for many years. 


The Clay M. Greene Collection, 1867-1934 (bulk 1880-1925) documents Greene’s life from his early years as a newspaperman to his later success as an American playwright. The collection includes play scripts, screenplays and scenarios; a few musical scores and librettos; newspaper clippings pertaining to theatrical productions; personal and professional correspondence; ephemera and other printed materials related to his participation in various social clubs, most notably the Bohemian Club and the New York Lambs; and newspaper articles, poems, prose and other writings by Greene. This collection is arranged into four series: Series I: Personalia, 1868-1934; Series II: Poetry, Prose & Other Writings, 1867-1933; Series III: The Bohemians, the New York Lambs & Other Social Clubs, 1876-1933; and Series IV: Theatrical Works, 1871-1933.


This online collection includes a sampling of materials from each of these series. For a further description of the collection, see the Online Archive of California Clay. M. Greene finding aid.


Series I. Personalia, 1868-1934, & undated

This series documents the personal life of Clay M. Greene. Included are invitations and programs for various social events; printed materials collected by Greene; photographs; a journal; scrapbook pages; personal correspondence; a photograph album that may have belonged to Laura H. Greene; professional photograph albums from Japan and India; poems sent to friends for Christmas; and newspaper clippings about Greene.


Box 1: Personalia, 1868-1934

Digitized items from Box 1


Box 2: Photograph Album, 1896


Box 3: Photographs, undated

Digitized items from Box 3 


Box 4: Travel Books, undated


Enclosure 1: Memorabilia, 1905-1931


Series II. Poetry, Prose & Other Writings, 1867-1933, & undated

This series documents Greene’s writings not intended for the stage or screen. Included are newspaper articles written by Greene; a variety of poems, speeches and tributes; a book of sayings entitled Rodomontades; a 120-page typescript reflecting on the life of Adolph B. Spreckels; and drafts of Greene’s memoir, left unfinished at the time of his death.


Box 5: Prose, Poetry & Other Writings, 1867-1933

Digitized items from Box 5


Box 6: Memoirs, Written by Greene, undated

Digitized items from Box 6 


Item 1: Scrapbook, Articles Written by Greene circa 1905-1910


Series III. The Bohemians, the New York Lambs & Other Social Clubs, 1876-1933, & undated

This series documents Clay M. Greene’s membership in various social clubs, primarily the Bohemian Club of San Francisco and the New York Lambs. Included are correspondence, ephemera, poems, verses and other printed materials related to his participation in these clubs. Bohemian Club materials include correspondence; a printed booklet entitled The Owl Takes Flight; invitations, programs and newsletters; and invocations, speeches, poetry and verses written about the Bohemian Club and its membership. New York Lambs materials include A Round-Robin Sent to Clay M. Greene on his Forty-Ninth Birthday by the Lambs with telegrams and letters wishing him well, and a small sampling of programs, invocations and speeches. Printed materials pertaining to his participation in other social clubs, including an honorary membership to the Olympic Club, are also included in this series.


Box 7: Social Clubs, 1876-1933

Digitized items from Box 7


Item 2: Writing Journal, undated


Series IV. Theatrical Works, 1871-1933, & undated

This series documents the theatrical works of Clay M. Greene. The bulk of this series consists of play scripts, screenplays and scenarios, with a small sampling of musical scores and librettos. The majority of the works were written, adapted or acted in by Clay M. Greene. Some were created for social club events such as the New York Lambs’ Gambol, the Bohemian Club’s Grove Play or the Annual Pow-Wow of the Huckleberry Indians (comprised of New York Athletic Club members). The majority of the manuscripts and typescripts are working drafts with edits. There are a few playbills, printed booklets and musical scores. Also included are correspondence, legal documents, newspaper articles and other printed materials related to the creation, collaboration, adaptation, rights, and reviews related to Greene’s theatrical works.


Box 8: Theatrical Works, 1871-1933

Digitized items from Box 8


Box 9: Play Scripts, Screenplays, Scenarios, Scores, 1881-1923


Box 10: Play Scripts, Screenplays, Scenarios, Scores, 1887-1923


Box 11: Play Scripts, Screenplays, Scenarios, Scores, 1881-1926

Digitized items from Box 11 


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