Skip to main content

Quirk Dramatic Arts and Sponberg Theatre Buildings records

Identifier: 015.QS

Scope and Contents

The Quirk Dramatic Arts and Sponberg Theatre Buildings records provide historical information on the theater facilities of Eastern Michigan University, including their construction, dedication, and renovation. The collection covers the years 1935 to 2008, with the largest portion of the material from 1981-1986, the period of planning, fundraising, and construction of the Sponberg Theatre and renovations to the theater in general. There are newspaper clippings (including coverage of Carol Channing's visit in 1983), blueprints, press releases, brochures, flyers, correspondence, manuscripts, and memorabilia in the collection.


  • Creation: 1935 - 2008
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1981 - 1986

Language of Materials

All records are in English unless otherwise noted.

Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the the University Archives.

Historical note

The Quirk-Sponberg theatre (originally the Quirk Theatre) was built in 1958, with renovations and expansion to add the Sponberg theatre in 1985. It houses the Communication, Fine Arts and Theatre programs for Eastern Michigan University. The theatres are named after Daniel L. Quirk, Jr., a founder of the theater movement in Ypsilanti, and Harold Sponberg, president of EMU from 1965-1974.


6.8 Linear Feet (2 archive boxes, 1 object, 2 oversize folders)


The Quirk Dramatic Arts and Sponberg Theatre Buildings records (1935-2008) contains material related to the construction and dedication of the Quirk Dramatic Arts building, the history of the theatre, as well as planning, fundraising, and publicity material for its expansion and renovation to include the Sponberg Theatre in the 1980s. The collection includes newspaper clippings, blueprints, press releases, brochures, flyers, correspondence, manuscripts, and memorabilia.

Arrangement of materials

The collection is arranged into three series: 1. History of the Quirk-Sponberg Theatre, including an overview of the building's construction and history, blueprints, material related to the Quirk family, and newspaper clippings about the theatre; 2. Publicity and outreach, which includes press releases, brochures and flyers, correspondence, and memorabilia related to the theater in general (mostly not individual productions); 3. Renovation, which encompasses material related to fundraising and planning for the theater's expansion and renovation in the 1980s, as well as a script for the dedication ceremony.

Related Materials

For more information about theatre studies at EMU, see the Department of Communication, Media and Theatre Arts records.


For further information about particular theatrical productions, see the Theatre records.


For information about Theatre for the Young, see the Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young collection.


For information about the Federal Theatre Project, see the Federal Theatre Project collection.


All of these collection are held in the University Archives.

Quirk Dramatic Arts and Sponberg Theatre Buildings records
Julia Pope
2012 June 4
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197