Office of the Commandant/Records of the Office of Midshipmen Activities: Records Relating to the Masqueraders, 1867-2001: Finding Aid
Published in March 2013
- Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
- Publisher Address:
589 McNair Road
Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
- Call number: RG 405.3.3 Entry 182a
- Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Archives
- Title: Office of the Commandant/Records of the Office of Midshipmen Activities: Records Relating to the Masqueraders
- Dates: 1867-2001
- Size: 3 linear feet (7 manuscript boxes)
- Creator: United States Naval Academy. Commandant of Midshipmen
- Language(s) of material: English
- Abstract: Records relating to the midshipman theater group, the Masqueraders, dating through 2001.
History of the Office of the Commandant of Midshipmen
Although not specifically provided for in the original plan for the Naval School at Fort Severn, the Office of the Commandant actually dates from the opening days of the school when Lt. James H. Ward served as executive officer and instructor in gunnery and steam. Under the provisions of the reorganization plan of 1850, an experienced lieutenant or commander was to serve as executive officer to the Superintendent and instructor in naval tactics and practical seamanship, and was to be known as the Commandant of Midshipmen. Later, during the time in which students at the Academy were referred to as naval cadets, he was known as the Commandant of Cadets.
The Office of the Commandant also included responsibility for insuring the "preservation of discipline" and "general security" at the Academy. Line officers of the Navy were detailed as assistants to the Commandant as the responsibilities of the office increased with the growth of the school. Another of the duties of the Office of the Commandant was the command of the annual summer practice cruises and maintenance of its records, under the instructions of the Superintendent. For most years from 1861 to 1909, the Commandant served as commander of the cruise.
Description of Contents
Various records pertaining to the activities of the Naval Academy's midshipman theater group, the Masqueraders. The records, which pertain to various Masqueraders' productions, consist of performance programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, reviews by midshipmen, audio-visual recordings, and a limited amount of correspondence.
Theatrical activity at the Naval Academy dates back to the Academy's founding days, with the production of "The Lady of Lyons" by the Spirits Club in 1846. In 1908, the Academy's dramatic group came to be known as the Masqueraders, named for the title of the first production staged in the then brand new Mahan Hall. In 1914, the job of producing Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, which had formerly fallen to the Masqueraders, was transferred to the Musical Club. In 1968, the two organization merged, retaining the name Masqueraders.
Arranged in rough chronological order in multiple sequences.
Access and Use
Access is unrestricted.
Use of the materials is unrestricted.
Acquisition and Appraisal
RG 405 Records of the United States Naval Academy is the property of the National Archives and Records Administration. The materials are housed at the United States Naval Academy, William W. Jeffries Memorial Archives, an affiliated archive, as per a Memorandum of Agreement between the National Archives and Records Administration and the United States Naval Academy.
Related Archival Material
Location of Related Materials
Additional material pertaining to theatrical activities and the Masqueraders can be found in the correspondence of the Office of the Superintendent RG 405.2.1.
Materials Cataloged Separately
No materials have been removed from this collection and cataloged separately.
Office of the Commandant/Records of the Office of Midshipmen Activities: Records Relating to the Masqueraders, RG 405.3.3 Entry 182a
Special Collections & Archives Department
United States Naval Academy
Collection inventory prepared by Alice Gilliland in 2013. Historical sketch prepared by Geraldine N. Phillips and Aloha South in 1975.
Name and Subject Terms
- Theater -- United States.
- United States Naval Academy
- United States Naval Academy -- Masqueraders
- United States Naval Academy -- Students
- United States Naval Academy. Commandant of Midshipmen
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Programs (documents)