Joseph Hyman and Moss Hart Collection

Identifier: MSS.0787

  • Staff Only

Scope and Contents

This collection contains 1.67 linear feet of material contained in 3 ½ Hollinger boxes and 1 flat box and includes photographs, letters, telegrams, scripts, playbills, legal documents, and newspaper clippings that relate to the collaborative theatrical efforts of producer Joseph Hyman and playwright Moss Hart and his brother Bernard Hart. The collection covers the years 1918-1977.

The majority of the collection highlights the long standing and successful professional and personal relationships of Hyman and the Hart brothers, who were called “the formidable theatrical triple threat of the 1940’s.” This collection also documents their personal lives in letters, postcards, and photographs.


  • 1918 - 1977

Conditions Governing Access

This collection may be viewed only in the reading room of Special Collections in the Jean and Alexander Heard Library. Collections should be requested prior to visiting in order to facilitate easier access. For questions, contact

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, copy, reprint, copy, reprint, digitize, orally record for transmission over public or private airways, or use materials from the Joseph Hyman/ Moss Hart Collection in any and all other current or future development methods or procedures, must be obtained in writing from the Special Collections and University Archives Division of the Vanderbilt University Libraries. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.

Biographical / Historical

Joseph M. Hyman Born on September 30, 1897 in Cripple Creek, Colorado Hyman was a producer with the Hart brothers, Moss and Bernard, of nearly a score of Broadway plays over 4 decades from the 1930’s – 1960’s. Among the most successful collaborations was the hit play Dear Ruth which opened in December 1944 and ran for two years. Other plays, some of them produced by Hyman alone, but most of them the result of the collaborative efforts of the three include There’s Always a Breeze; Winged Victory; Mr. Peebles and Mr. Hooker; Light Up the Sky; The Secret Room; Anniversary Waltz; and Make Mine Manhattan. Joseph Hyman in addition to his long career as a producer in the American theater, served in the U.S. Army at the time of the first World War and was married to the former Stephanie Augustine. He lived most of his life in New York City. He died at age 80 on Friday February 25, 1977.

Moss Hart Born on October 24, 1904 in New York City, Moss Hart was a successful playwright who won the 1957 Tony Award for Best Director of the Musical My Fair Lady. In the years before that he became famous for such hits as Once in a Lifetime (1930); You Can’t Take It With You (1936); and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939). In 1972, eleven years after his death he was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. He had a long and successful friendship and collaboration with Joseph Hyman, and they along with Hart’s brother Bernard produced a score of Broadway plays, many of which are represented in this collection.

Hart married Kitty Carlisle in 1946, and they had 2 children. He died of a heart attack in Palm Springs, California on December 20, 1961.


1.67 Linear Feet (3.5 Hollingers, 1 Flat box)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Finding Aid for the Joseph Hyman and Moss Hart Collection
Molly Dohrmann
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Library
1101 19th Ave. S.
Nashville TN 37212 United States


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

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