Thomas Wood Stevens was an artist, teacher, author, and theater director. He served has head of the Illustration Department at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1903-1911; he was cofounder of Blue Sky Press, 1899-1907; he served as head of the Drama Department at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1913-1925; then at the Kenneth Sawyer Goodman Memorial Theatre, 1925- 1930; he was the director of various university and community theaters, and of the Globe Theatre Shakespearean productions performed at several American expositions and centennials; finally he was in charge of the Drama Department at the University of Arizona from 1941-1942.
The collection contains biographical materials such as early notebooks of writings and sketches, articles about Stevens, and family photographs. Manuscripts by Stevens include pageants, poems, plays, articles, stories, and an original draft and illustrations for his book, The Theatre from Athens to Broadway. Major correspondents are Kenneth Goodman, Samuel Hume, Alden Noble, Ben Payne, Frederick Goudy, and Bertha Jacques. Stevens' work as a theater director is represented by programs, clippings, scrapbooks, prompt books, Shakespearean texts, and photographs of performances; as well as blueprints of Goodman Memorial Theatre and Globe Theatre, Chicago. Included in the collection are Blue Sky Press publications, some written by Stevens; 65 other books by private presses; and seven little magazines. Original etchings by Stevens include a series on American universities.