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Janet King Lyle Papers, 1920-1987.
Lyle, Janet King, 1894-1986.
Library Call Number Copy Material Location
Vermont Historical Society Library  Doc 437 (cont'd in MSA 197 and MSA 321)  Manuscript  Vault-Manuscript 

Personal Author : Lyle, Janet King, 1894-1986.
Title : Janet King Lyle Papers, 1920-1987.
Physical Description : 2 linear ft.
Summary :

The Janet Lyle Papers is a collection of letters, notebooks, miscellaneous manuscripts, playbills and photographs, which reflect Lyle's life as an actress and writer in New York City and in Vermont.

The papers consist in large part of Lyle's manuscripts: radio and stage dramas, short stories and poetry. The collection includes as well a handwritten manuscript of her autobiographical recollection of the San Francisco earthquake, "As a child saw the earthquake and fire," April 18, 1906.

The history of the Nellie Gill Players, a Vermont based summer stock company with whom Lyle was associated from 1920 to 1926, is documented in the collection. The latter is comprised of Lyle's "Saga of the Nellie Gill Players" which was published in the Rural Vermonter in 1964, as well as playbills for the 1920-1926 seasons, a scrapbook, and photographs of Nellie Gill Players' productions ca. 1925.

The collection reflects Lyle's professional life not only in the newspaper articles by and about her, but also in the collection of 1920s playbills when she was regularly appearing on the stage in New York City area. Lyle's personal interests in poetry, dogs and earthquakes are reflected in the newspaper clippings she collected on those subjects.

Photographs in the collection include: Janet Lyle both as a young woman and in her later years; her husband, Geddes Lyle; Nellie Gill and her husband, William Henry; and the Lyles' friends and colleagues in Nellie Gill Players' productions.

The collection also includes two audio tapes: an interview with Lyle conducted by Robert Jackman which includes a reading of her poetry recorded in 1981, and a recording of Robert Jackman reading Lyle's poem "Christmas Eve Callers".

Biographical or historical data :

Janet King Lyle was born in San Francisco, Calif., on May 29, 1894. In 1918 she married (John) Geddes Lyle, a musician and actor, and they moved to New York City to pursue theatrical careers. In addition to writing for vaudeville, they also acted and studied acting. John Lyle wrote and acted under the name of Jack or Geddes Lyle. The Lyles' only child, Janet, died at age 7.

The Lyles joined William Henry and his wife, Nellie Gill, whose stock company, the Nellie Gill Players, toured Vermont in the summers between 1914 and 1928. Henry and Gill bought a house in Plainfield where they retired in 1936. After Henry's death in 1954, Gill moved to Montpelier.

Janet Lyle, then a widow herself, joined Gill in Montpelier in 1959. Gill died in 1962. During her last years, when she was legally blind, Lyle lived at the Berlin (Vt.) Convalescent Center. Janet Lyle died July 24, 1986.

Personal Subject : Gill, Nellie, d. 1962.
Scammon, P. R.
Corporate Subject : Nellie Gill Players Rutland, Vt.
Subject Term : Earthquakes California.
Earthquakes Vermont.
Theater New Jersey.
Theater New York.
Theater Vermont.
Geographic Term : Plainfield (Vt.) Archival resources.
Genre/Form : Audiocassettes.
Radio scripts.
Added Author : Camp, Ruth Woodbury.
Facos, James.
Gill, Nellie, d. 1962.
Henry, William, d. 1954.
Lyle, John Geddes.
Lyle, Jack peud.
Lyle, Geddes pseud.
Merle, Janet pseud.
Added Author : Al Fresco (Long Beach, N.Y.)
Fulton Theater (New York, N.Y.)
Hudson Theatre (Union, N.J.)
Little Theater (Plainfield, Vt.)
Lyceum Theater (Patterson, N.J.)
Mineola Theater (Mineola, N.Y.)
Nellie Gill Players (Rutland, Vt.)
Old Rialto Theater Guild (Hoboken, N.J.)
Rialto Theater (Hoboken, N.J.)
Rivera Theater (Brooklyn, N.Y.?)
Silver Theater (Waterville, Me.)
Electronic Resource : Click here for full text of finding aid.