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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Wilferd Kracht and Vincent C. Brann Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1947-1994
Creator: Kracht, Wilferd (1923-1994)
Extent: 4.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0643
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Correspondence between two former University of Iowa students who co-wrote and produced a campus musical in 1949 and thereafter carried on a life-long correspondence.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 2; Recordings in Box 2.

Access: Correspondence in this collection is restricted for ten years from the death of Vincent Brann. Brann died October 26, 2007, leaving no provision for appeal of his decision to restrict. The correspondence - Boxes 3 through 8 - is not available to readers until October 27, 2017.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition:

Preferred Citation: Wilferd Kracht and Vincent C. Brann Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman
Email: lib-spec@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/sc

Wilferd Bill Kracht was born in Sigourney, Iowa, in 1923. He grew up there and enrolled at the State University of Iowa (today known as the University of Iowa) in 1941. Following the start of World War II, he worked for the War Department and later served at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland. He returned to the University in February 1947 where he finished his B.A. in English and went on to get an M.A. in English in 1950. After a brief time in New York City, he moved to Long Beach, California, and worked as an office manager and assistant to the chief engineer of a company that made aircraft parts. He died in 1994 in Florida during a stay with his sister.

Vincent Brann was born in Knoxville, Iowa, in 1927 and grew up in Davenport, Iowa. His family eventually settled in Cleveland, and Brann served in the army from 1945 to 1946. He attended the University of Iowa from 1947 to 1950 and received a B.A. in philosophy; he was called back into the army on active duty in 1950 for approximately one year. He went on to receive an M.A. in English drama/dramatic art at Columbia University in 1953 and began his teaching career at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh where he taught composition and speech. He later moved to Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, and eventually settled in the speech department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he retired in 1988. He died in Northampton October 26, 2007.

Kracht and Brann met at Fort Meade in 1945. They re-encountered one another in 1947 during registration at the University, and that chance meeting began their life-long friendship. While students they produced the play Olympic '49 which was chosen to be the Panacea Show for 1949. (The Panacea Show featured the winner of an annual competition for the best script of a student-produced musical comedy.) Its production left fond memories and was still referred to years later in their letters. Although they settled on opposite coasts, each occasionally visited the other, and in the summer of 1956 they took a three-month tour of Europe. They kept in touch through the years by telephone and long letters, and they were still writing each other until Kracht's death.

The papers of Wilferd Kracht and Vincent C. Brann date from 1947 to 1994. The collection is 4 linear feet and is divided into two series. The first consists of material from the musical Olympic '49, a collaboration between Kracht and Brann while at the University of Iowa and produced in 1949. Included are the book, music, and lyrics as well as various drafts and newspaper clippings, playbills, correspondence, and memorabilia. These items are arranged in chronological and alphabetical order, and various incomplete drafts of the play itself are arranged in order by scene.

The second series includes the correspondence between these two friends that spanned 47 years, from 1947 when they were college students to Kracht's death in 1994. It contains primarily letters but also includes cards, photographs, newspaper clippings, college material, and various literary endeavors such as poems, songs, and skits. The letters, clippings, cards, and photographs are interfiled in chronological order, while the literary work and college material are filed together alphabetically. A smaller correspondence betwee Kracht and Stanley R. Tripp forms Series III.

For readers of this collection, it may be helpful to identify several individuals who are repeatedly discussed and mentioned over the years, some of whom also have letters included among this collection. Hope Kracht and Janice Lynn are respectively the mother and sister of Bill Kracht. Rhea Brann and Barbara Marshall are the mother and sister of Vincent Brann. College friends and/or instructors include: George Freuhling, Charles and Dorothy Becker, Ron Valline, Kenny Alsager, Ronnie Vander Wiel, Les Henderson, Stan Tripp, Jim Dixon, and Bill Knittle. Norma Cross and Virginia Linn were piano teachers on the Music faculty (as well as friends): Bill studied with Cross (and played cello well enough to play in the University Symphony Orchestra under Phillip Greeley) while Vincent studied with Linn. Norman and Anne Sly were friends of Bill Kracht. Beekman "Beek" Cottrell was a colleague of Vincent Brann's at Carnegie Tech and a lifelong friend, and Robert Miller, Doris Abramson, and Dorothy Johnson were friends of Brann in Massachusetts.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: OLYMPIC '49
Series 2: KW AND VB CORRESPONDENCE (under seal until October 27, 2017)
Series 3: KW AND STANLEY R. TRIP CORRESPONDENCE (under seal until October 27, 2017)

  • Series 1: OLYMPIC '49
  • Sub-Series: Drafts and correspondence
  • Box 1:
  • Radio Quiz Show Skit - Projected 1949 "Panacea" Show. Includes 1st and 2nd rewrites and rough draft. Became part of Olympic '49 - 1948
  • Correspondence relating to Olympic '49 - 1948-1949
  • Preliminary and background information and photographs, circa - 1948-1949
  • Rough draft, circa - 1948-1949
  • First rewrite, August 24 - 1948
  • Complete final draft - 1949
  • "Prologue"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 1"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 2"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 3"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 4"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 5"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 6"
    drafts
  • "Act I, scene 7/finale"
    drafts
  • "Act II, Prologue"
    drafts
  • "Act II, scene 1"
    drafts
  • "Act II, scene 2"
    drafts
  • "Act II, scene 3"
    drafts
  • "4th Interlude"
    drafts
  • "Act II, scene 4"
    drafts
  • "5th Interlude"
    drafts
  • "Act II, scene 5"
    drafts
  • "Act II, finale"
    drafts
  • Lyrics to songs not included in printed program, circa - 1948-1949
  • Box 2:
  • Lyrics and drafts to songs in Act I
  • Lyrics and drafts to songs in Act II
  • Miscellaneous unidentified lyrics
  • Newspaper clippings - 1949
  • Posters - 1949
  • Cast recording - 1949
    7 LPs (Note: Only three LPs present August 2008)
  • Sub-Series: Sheet music/lyrics
  • Box 2:
  • "Ask the Man on the Street" - 1949
  • "Autobiography" - 1949
  • "Ballet" - 1949
  • "Believing" - 1949
  • "Boston Gentlemen" - 1949
  • "Cliola's Theme" - 1949
  • "Dolphin Dance" - 1949
  • "Go Godolphin" - 1949
  • "Godolphin Hymn" - 1949
  • "Ladies of the League" - 1949
  • "Lucky One" - 1949
  • "Slightly Higher" - 1949
  • "Sunny Day" - 1949
  • "When I Was Queen" - 1949
  • "Women Now" - 1949
  • Miscellaneous and unidentified lyrics - 1949
  • "Olympic '49" program and poster
  • Vincent Brann biographical information - 1948, 1994
    Curriculum Vitae
  • Clippings re: Kracht
  • Kracht family photographs
  • Kracht college material, circa - 1948-1949
    Includes class notes, certificates, graduation materials, and carbon copy of Master's thesis "The Mind of Virginia Woolf"
  • "Horizon Bound or Beyond, the Blue Baccalaureate," by Kracht and Brann, circa - 1950
    Various drafts
  • "Variations on the Theme of Dale Tuttle...," by Kracht - 1962
    Includes draft and correspondence
  • "Variations on the Theme 'Why Must It Always, Always Be a Pianist'," by Kracht - 1962
    Includes draft and correspondence
  • "The Year of the Vander Wiel," by Kracht, Brann, and Henderson - 1948
    Also a postscript by Kracht, "One Day Thirty-Four Years Later," 1982
  • Series 2: KW AND VB CORRESPONDENCE (under seal until October 27, 2017)
  • Box 3:
  • Correspondence - 1947
  • Correspondence - 1948
  • Correspondence - 1949
  • Correspondence - 1950
  • Correspondence - 1951
  • Correspondence: January-April - 1952
  • Correspondence: May-December - 1952
  • Correspondence - 1953
  • Correspondence - 1954
  • Correspondence: January-June - 1955
  • Correspondence: July-December - 1955
  • Correspondence - 1956
  • Box 4:
  • Correspondence - 1957
  • Correspondence - 1958
  • Correspondence - 1959
  • Correspondence - 1960
  • Correspondence - 1961
  • Correspondence - 1962
  • Correspondence - 1963
  • Correspondence - 1964
  • Box 5:
  • Correspondence - 1965
  • Correspondence - 1966
  • Correspondence - 1967
  • Correspondence - 1968
  • Correspondence - 1969
  • Correspondence - 1970
  • Correspondence - 1971
  • Correspondence - 1972
  • Correspondence - 1973
  • Correspondence - 1974-1979
  • Correspondence - 1980
  • Box 6:
  • Correspondence - 1981
  • Correspondence - 1982
  • Correspondence - 1983
  • Correspondence - 1984
  • Correspondence - 1985
  • Correspondence - 1986
  • Correspondence - 1987
  • David Hartwell tape and enclosures, circa - 1987
  • Correspondence - 1988
  • Box 7:
  • Correspondence - 1989
  • Correspondence - 1990
  • Correspondence - 1991
  • Correspondence - 1992
  • Correspondence - 1993
  • Computer diskettes - "Letters to Vince," circa - 1993
    2 diskettes
  • Correspondence - 1994
  • Abramson, Doris - 1992
    Includes 4 poems
  • VB, with musical comedy skit and poem, bith with correspondence - 1956, 1961
  • WK - 1947, 1948, 1952
    Includes 5 poems
  • VB Correspondence, General
  • VB Correspondence With Robert K. Lynn
  • VB Correspondence With the UI about the collection
  • Series 3: KW AND STANLEY R. TRIP CORRESPONDENCE (under seal until October 27, 2017)
  • Box 8:
  • Correspondence - 1950
  • Correspondence - 1951
  • Correspondence - 1952
  • Correspondence - 1954, 1955, 1956
  • Correspondence - 1957, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962
    With reproduction of "Ding" Darling's farewell cartoon, 2/13/1962
  • Correspondence - 1965
  • Correspondence - 1991, 1993, 1994

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.