Finding aid for the Russell and Rowena Jelliffe Papers


Repository: Western Reserve Historical Society
Creator: Jelliffe, Russell and Rowena next hit
Title: previous hit Russell and Rowena Jelliffe next hit Papers
Dates: 1914-1991
Extent: 12.71 linear feet (14 containers, 3 oversize volumes, and 1 oversize folder)
Abstract: previous hit Russell W. and Rowena Woodham Jelliffe next hit were social workers who in conjunction with the Second Presbyterian Church Men's Club of Cleveland, Ohio, founded the Neighborhood Association, popularly known as the Playhouse Settlement, in 1915. Founded primarily to aid African Americans who had migrated to Cleveland from the rural South, Playhouse Settlement offered the usual social services, but gained note for its dramatic and artistic programs. In 1927 the Jelliffes acquired property which was remodeled as a theater and named the Karamu Theater. In 1941, the Settlement was renamed Karamu House. The Jelliffes shared the directorship of Karamu House until their retirement in 1963, after which they served as trustees of the Karamu Foundation. Russell Jelliffe was also an active member of the Urban League, the Cleveland Community Relations Council on Race Relations, the executive committee of the local branch of the NAACP, and the Board of the Cleveland Council of Human Relations. He was involved with the Group Work Council of the Welfare Federation and was a trustee of Oberlin College and the Cleveland Civil Liberties Union. Rowena Jelliffe was involved in the NAACP, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the Urban League, the National Theatre Conference, the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Guidance Center, and the Board of Directors of the American National Theatre and Academy. Both the Jelliffes received numerous honors and awards. The collection consists of correspondence, letters, journals, a diary, date books, speeches, schedules, telegrams, reports, newspaper clippings, Karamu Board of Trustee files, Karamu Foundation files, deeds, publications, blueprints, playscripts, programming information, subject files, memoranda, drawings, manuscripts, research papers and studies, certificates, awards, and scrapbooks. In addition to the personal papers of the Jelliffes, this collection contains a significant collection of the records of Karamu House, including initial negotiations with the Second Presbyterian Men's Club concerning the founding of Neighborhood Association, administrative files, histories, materials concerning the New Building Campaign of the 1940s, correspondence with Harold T. Clark, programming files, materials concerning the search for a new executive director, playscripts, publications, and scrapbooks. Also included in the collection are letters, notes, and a poem written by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston's play, Sermon. Also included are the records of the Karumu Foundation, 1948-1977.
MS Number MS 4737
Location: closed stacks
Language: The records are in English