Naff Collection
(Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material)

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Special Collections - Closed Stacks  1 available
Map room drawer L-1: posters
Special Collections - Closed Stacks  1 available
Workroom range 4 section 5


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LocationCall NumberStatus
Special Collections - Closed StacksMap room drawer L-1: postersLibrary Use Only
Special Collections - Closed StacksWorkroom range 4 section 5Library Use Only

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Document/manuscript/pamphlet/archival material
Physical Desc
9 boxes.
100 advertising announcements.
75 descriptive folders.
5 letters and telegrams.
7 librettos.
2 newspaper clippings.
453 photographs.
41 posters.
303 programs.
1 realia.
1 script.
49 souvenir booklets.


Organization & arrangement of materials
Organized into eleven series: (1) Advertising Announcements (2) Descriptive Folders (3) Letters & Telegrams (4) Librettos (5) Newspaper Clippings (6) Photographs [housed separately] (7) Posters (8) Programs (9) Realia (10) Scripts (11) Souvenir Booklets;,Some of the series are further organized into subseries by letters;,Numerical order within series or subseries.
General Note
Some posters from this collection are framed and hang on the walls in the hallways of the Nashville Public Library Conference Center.
Restrictions on Access
In library use only. Available by appointment.
Scope and content: Advertising announcements, descriptive folders, letters and telegrams, librettos, newspaper clippings, photographs, posters, programs, realia, scripts, and souvenir booklets gathered by Lula Naff over her many years as manager of the Ryman Auditorium. The materials span Ryman performances between 1901 and 1956, and document Nashville appearances by such cultural, political, and entertainment notables as Gene Autry, Fanny Brice, Jack Dempsey, Nelson Eddy, Helen Hayes, Bob Hope, Guy Lombardo, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Will Rogers, and John Phillip Sousa.
Preferred Citation of Described Materials
Cite as: Naff Collection, Special Collections Division, Nashville Public Library.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Nashville Public Library retains all intellectual property rights to this collection.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Francis Robinson;,Gift;,1967;,Acc.RT-108.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Ryman Auditorium memorabilia is kept at the Ryman Auditorium and Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
Location of Other Archival Materials
The Nashville Room of the Nashville Public Library also houses the Ryman Auditorium Collection of later Ryman Auditorium materials (2000-ongoing)
Biographical or Historical Data
Lula C. Naff (1875-1960) was a native of Fall Branch, Tennessee, and came to Nashville as a stenographer with the Rice Lyceum Bureau when that firm moved to Nashville from Johnson City in 1904. She booked speakers, concerts, and other attractions at several locations, one of which being Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, at that time a stageless gospel tabernacle. The Bureau dissolved in 1914, and Mrs. Naff went to work at the Ryman as an independent agent, and in 1920 began managing the hall under a board of directors. Over the next thirty-plus years, she brought hundreds of attractions to the famous venue, and reportedly never in that time witnessed a single performance and never operated at a deficit. She retired in her eightieth year, and died in 1960.
Cumulative Index/Finding Aids
Finding aid: available in the first box of the collection. Inquire at the service desk.
Cumulative Index/Finding Aids
Finding aid available in repository; ,item level control ,
Ownership and Custodial History
Collected by Lula C. Naff during her career at the Rice Lyceum Bureau and as manager of the Ryman Auditorium. She bequeathed the collection to Francis Robinson, at that time the Assistant Manager of the New York Metropolitan Opera, who had begun his career as a Ryman Auditorium usher. Mr. Robinson formally presented the collection to the Nashville Public Library in a ceremony held March 27, 1967.
Local note
Book jacket image digital identifier: Naff 2-46 Anna Pavlowa


APA Citation, 7th Edition (style guide)

Naff, L. Naff Collection .

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Naff, Lula, 1875-1960. Naff Collection. .

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities (Notes and Bibliography) Citation, 17th Edition (style guide)

Naff, Lula, 1875-1960. Naff Collection .

MLA Citation, 9th Edition (style guide)

Naff, Lula. Naff Collection

Note! Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy. Citation formats are based on standards as of August 2021.

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