Collection SC/030 - Louis Ellsworth Laflin, Jr. and June K. Laflin Collection 1950s-1970s

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Reference code

US ILfC SC/030

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Louis Ellsworth Laflin, Jr. and June K. Laflin Collection 1950s-1970s




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Biographical history

Ells Laflin was born in Chicago in 1898. He spent a large part of his youth and later life in Lake Forest, in the family country place, Ellslloyd (Hawthorne Place). His parents were Josephine Knowland Laflin and Louis Ellsworth Laflin Sr. Namely, Ells graduated from Lawrenceville Preparatory School in 1918, and from Princeton in 1924.  He received from Yale an M.A. in 1938 and a Ph.D. in 1941 in areas of drama, religion, and Egyptology.  He even spent a postdoctoral year at the University of Chicago, Oriental Institute studying hieroglyphics.

His major work was the writing of at least seventy-seven full-length plays, of which seventeen were produced, and forty one-act plays, of which thirty-three were produced, mostly at schools and colleges.  He also lectured on drama at Rollins College, FL, and at Lake Forest College, as he ran the drama department in the 1950s. Mostly, Laflin traveled and wrote many plays that were performed locally by the theatre group of PlayReaders.

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Scope and content

This collection, divided into 4 series, primarily contains the written play scripts of Louis Ellsworth (Ells) Laflin Jr. (Series One). The additional material within the collection include the written and visual materials of PlayReaders Theatre Group (Series 2) and a more general assortment of both B&W and Color photographs (Series Three) capturing the different facets of the greater Lake Forest community. Alongside the creative and graphic documents, the last series shows June Kennedy Laflin's, Ells Laflin's wife, small assemblage of travel scrapbooks. Overall, this collection shows the dramatic impact the Laflin family has had on Lake Forest College and the community as a whole.

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged by the four series groups, but it within each box, the materials are mostly ordered within folder by the subject matter and also the date. The bigger photographs and scrapbooks are placed in a large format boxes together with all the Laflin Materials.

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