FRANCES MELROSE PAPERS
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE
Ranging from 1940 to 2001, the papers in this collection consist of correspondence, articles and newspaper clippings. The clippings comprise Melrose's writings for the Rocky Mountain News. Drafts of articles preceded the final publication. The bulk of the correspondence came from readers of Melrose's writings in the Rocky Mountain News. The topics of the columns inspired readers to share personal and family memories of life in Denver and throughout Colorado in these letters. Notes from interview with celebrities, research and reporter's notebooks comprise a portion of the collection. Melrose's involvement in numerous organizations is also documented in the collection.
This series contains papers that document Melrose's Rocky Mountain News career. Organized alphabetically by Melrose's position, draft articles, notes, newspaper clippings and correspondence comprise the bulk of the documents. The papers for the
Rocky Mountain Memories columns include correspondence from readers throughout Colorado who recount their own memories and versions of the events and people. Five folders of letters (Box 5, FF36-FF40) having to do with Denver history create a personal record of experiences of individuals and families. The papers for the travel section document Melrose's role as travel editor which led to her Showplane work. Also, research done by Melrose for all of her positions constitutes a portion of the series.
Only a few items record the Show Wagon promotion begun by Melrose. Later, the Showplane promotion required that Melrose make travel arrangements for groups of people. The series contains this correspondence along with invoices, contracts and itineraries. Brochures, reviews and menus document prospective hotels, theaters and restaurants.
Melrose devoted her writing talent primarily to the Rocky Mountain News, but wrote occasionally for other publishers. Draft manuscripts for short stories comprise a portion of this series. Also included is correspondence having to do with her book Rocky Mountain Memories which is a compilation of her columns.
Arranged alphabetically by the name of the organization, the papers in this series contain correspondence, invitations, meeting minutes and press releases.
Melrose's personal papers include the greeting cards and correspondence that she received from family and friends as well as calendars, awards and newspaper clippings about her or her friends. Financial papers having to do with her rental properties in Denver constitute a portion of the series.
Items of a historical nature comprise this series.
A scrapbook of newspaper clippings, mostly columns written by Francis M. Plumb, comprises a portion of this series. Another portion of the series consists of a calendar. Also included is a book plate presented to Melrose in 1990 by the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation.
Readers of Melrose's column from across Colorado sent her photographs of the topics that she discussed. Thus, this series contains images of places, people and events from Colorado history organized in alphabetical order. A small portion of the series consists of personal photographs, primarily portraits of Melrose. Also included is an oversize photograph of the first concert of the combined Treble Clef and Base Clef Clubs in 1927.
Black-and-white publicity photographs for productions received by Melrose in her role as drama critic for the Rocky Mountain News constitute a portion of the series.
An interview with Max Vawter, Daily Herald reporter about his interview with Baby Doe Tabor comprises the contents of this audiocassette. Transcript notes are included.
The collection is open for research.
Literary and copyrights - as appropriate - have been assigned to the Denver Public Library.
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.
Frances Melrose was born in Denver in 1921. While in the sixth grade, she edited the Ebert Elementary sixth grade newspaper. At the University of Denver, she edited the student paper, the Denver University Clarion. The Clarion won the All-American award from the National Scholastic Press Association. In 1943, Melrose graduated from the University of Denver as a Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in journalism and social science.
Melrose started work at the Rocky Mountain News on June 28, 1943 as an assistant to Frances M. Foster, who wrote a personal advice column under the pseudonym Molly Mayfield. Soon after, Melrose became a full-time general assignment reporter. Due to the war, Melrose wrote under four bylines to make the staff's size appear larger. Later, Melrose became travel editor, a position that she held for fifteen years. At the same time, she was drama editor, reporting on theater and movies.
Melrose initiated many of the paper's promotions. Besides running the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition locally, she started Show Wagon, the summer talent shows held in Denver city parks. Sponsored by the Rocky Mountain News and the City Recreation Department, Show Wagon ran for more than 25 years. The Showplane, which took groups of up to 75 to New York City and other places for theater and restaurants was initially sponsored by the Rocky Mountain News. Later it was taken over as a private enterprise by Melrose and her business partner, Bobbie Jordan.
Melrose retired from the Rocky Mountain News in 1986, but continued to write the column
Rocky Mountain Memories for the Sunday paper. Eighty of the columns were compiled into a book, Rocky Mountain Memories. In 2001, Melrose retired completely after 57 years of working for the paper. Melrose was honored with the Westerner of the Year award from the Denver Westerners in 1989 and was inducted into the Denver Press Club's Hall of Fame in 1998.
3 OVBoxes, 1 OVFolio, 1 OVFF
2 PhotoBoxes, 1 PhotoOVFF
Language of Materials
Other Finding Aids
Frances Melrose donated her papers in 1989, 2003, 2004 and 2005. The collection remains open for additional material. Ingrid Boyd donated materials in 2012.
Number of Boxes: 14
Oversize: 3 OVBoxes, 1 OVFolio, 1 OVFF
Photograph: 2 PhotoBoxes, 1 PhotoOVFF
Audio-Visual: 1 AVEnvelope
PROCESSED, REVISED AND ENCODED BY:
- FRANCES MELROSE PAPERS
- SEPTEMBER 2012
- Language of description
- Script of description