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Gift of
Bob & Dolores Hope

Bob Hope Collection

The twentieth century's foremost comedian and entertainer has honored the Library and the Nation with his gift of personal and professional papers. This extraordinary collection comprises thousands of photos, scripts, monologues, appointment books, business and correspondence papers, music, scrapbooks, personal appearance logs, original lacquer discs of radio broadcasts, and more than 40 years of television specials, not to mention the famous Bob Hope joke file of over 400,000 jokes.

The materials document the life and career of this legendary entertainment figure and recapitulate the hisotry of American show business itself. Hope is one of the few performers who has excelled in all the major entertainment media, from vaudeville to stage, radio, motion picutres, and television. Hope's equally amazing second career as friend and supporter of the American armed forces throughout the world for over fifty years is also documented. His "cowardly wise-guy" humor has endeared him to millions of GIs he has entertained during hundreds of trips to American military bases and hospitals throught the world.

An additional monetary gift from the Hope's will support the processing and preservation of the collection, and will enable the creation of the Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment in the Jefferson Building, schuduled to open in May of 2000. Here, the Library is creating a permanent rotating display of items from the Hope Collection, as well as supplemental selections from other entertainers' collections now in the Library, such as those of Ira and George Gershwin, Leonard Berstein, Irving Berlin, Danny Kay, Bob Fosse, Martha Graham, and Ella Fitzgerald.

The Hope Collection will be consulted for many years to come, not just by those who wish to study one man's mastery of so many forms of entertainment, but also by those who want to experience the humor that helped us through some of the twentieth century's most turbulent events.









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