University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Guide to the Professor Ruth Pennybacker Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator Pennybacker, Ruth
Collection Title Professor Ruth Pennybacker Collection
Dates 1934-1981
Identification 1969-044
Physical Description 2.50 Linear Feet
Language of Materials English
Repository University of Houston Libraries M.D. Anderson Library 4333 University Drive Houston, TX, 77204-2000 URL: Email: Phone: 713-743-9229

Biographical Information:

Professor Ruth Pennybacker or "Miss Pennybacker", as she preferred, joined the U.H. faculty in 1935. Her application to the university included a letter of recommendation written by the distinguished Texas historian and writer J. Frank Dobie. Pennybacker, a 1934 Vassar graduate, went to work in the newly formed English Department at the University of Houston where she taught freshman composition and creative writing. A driving force in the creation of the U.H. creative writing program, Pennybacker also founded the Harvest, a campus publication for students, poets, and creative writers.

Scope and Contents

The Ruth Pennybacker Collection consists of the teaching aids she used in class, photocopies of plays, news clippings, and programmes. Included in the collection is a scrapbook crafted in 1967 by her students, colleagues, and friends as a tribute to Miss Pennybacker.


Conditions Governing Access:

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Corporate Name:
University of Houston
University of Houston -- Faculty
University of Houston. Creative Writing Program
University of Houston. Department of English
Genre/Form of Material:
Clippings (information artifacts)
Scripts (documents)
Theater programs
Personal Name:
Barthelme, Donald
Pennybacker, Ruth

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation:

Professor Ruth Pennybacker Papers. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Detailed List of Contents

Classroom Curriculum Material

Scope and Contents
This series contains 24 folders, arranged alphabetically. The majority of these contain news clippings, correspondence and plays used as part of the classroom curriculum.
Box Folder
1 1 Article Clippings
2 Brochures
3 Correspondence to Pennybacker
4 Correspondence to Pennybacker (personal)
5 Drama Notebook 1969
6 Drama Notebook 1970
7 Guest Book
8 Personal Items
9 Play - "A Separate Peace"
10 Play - "Absent Friends"
11 Play - "Betrayal - 1977"
12 Play - "Black Cycle"
13 Play - "Blinded by the Light"
14 Play - "Breakfast Past Noon"
15 Play - "Brontosaurus"
16 Play - "Cabin 12"
17 Play - "Evolution of People's Theatre"
18 Play - "Firebugs"
19 Play - "Freshwater"
20 Play: - "Good and Faithful Servant"
21 Play - No Title
22 Play - "Reunion"
23 Play - "Three Women"
24 Play - "Three Women"

Play Readers Group Material

Scope and Contents
This series contains 25 folders, arranged alphabetically. These folders consist of spiral notebooks and correspondence from the Play Readers group, organized chronologically from 1978-1981. Also contained in this series are poems, programmes and a copy of Pennybacker's 1934 thesis.
Box Folder
1 25-26 Play Readers 1970-1971
27-28 Play Readers 1972-1973
29-30 Play Readers 1973-1974
31-32 Play Readers April 1974
33-34 Play Readers 1974-1975
35-36 Play Readers 1975-1976
37-38 Play Readers 1976-1977
39 Play Readers 1977-1978
Box Folder
2 1 Play Readers 1977-1978
2-3 Play Readers 1979
4 Play Readers 1980
5 Play Readers 1981
6 Play Readers undated
7 Poems by Gaye Doehring
8 Programmes
9 Programmes - The Austin Symphony Orchestra
10 Programmes - Royal Shakespeare Company
11 Thesis by Pennybacker

Scrapbook 1967

Scope and Contents
This series contains a scrapbook dated 1967, that contains letters, notes and tributes to Miss Pennybacker. Included in the scrapbook are letters written by Joseph M. Doggett, Philip G. Hoffman, John C. Allred, John Q. Anderson, Vassar Miller, and Kenneth Carbajal.
Box Item
3 1 "Letters, Notes and Tributes - May 4, 1967"