The Saslav Collection

We would like to thank Dr. Isidor Saslav for kindly giving permission to reproduce this video online.

You may also wish to take the Virtual Tour of the Isidor Saslav Shaw Collection

Here is the Isidor Saslav New Zealand Collection. Do you recognize Dr. Saslav?

The Saslav Collection Part I

The Saslav Collection Part I

Saslav Collection Part II

 The Salsav Collection Part III

 The Saslav Collection Part IV

Saslav Collection Part V

Saslav Collection Part VI

Saslav Collection Part VII

Saslav Collection Part VIII



       Isidor Saslav, Director of String Studies at Stephen F. Austin State University, ret.,  began the collection in 1960 while a student at Wayne State University in Detroit with the purchase of a first edition of Shaw’s first play, Widowers Houses (1893).  From that time up to the present Dr. Saslav and his family have added to the collection until it has reached its present size of approximately 8,000 itemsBy comparison the gargantuan Shaw holdings at the University of Texas atAustin’sHumanitiesResearchCenter are comprised of some 9,000 items.

Besides books, which include first editions, collected editions, and bibliographies, the collection features Shaw autograph postcards and letters, magazines, both individual and in extended runs, movie and radio scripts, photos, caricatures, videos, cassettes and LPs of theatrical productions and musicals, stamps, theatrical and movie posters and placards, and much ephemera including pamphlets, theater programs (many of original productions), proof copies, cigarette cards, etc.

Reflected strongly in the collection is Shaw’s many-sided career as playwright, producer/director, screen writer, novelist, and letter writer; as critic of books, art, music, theater, aesthetics, photography, and cinema; his pioneering work in British politics; religious and philosophical thought; philology and the development of the English language; his humanitarian crusades against vivisection and for vegetarianism; and other topics.

Besides Shaw himself the collection emphasizes the influences on him and his career; his circle of friends, collaborators, and associates; and those in field after field of endeavor whom he in turn influenced and assisted.  A naming of some of these figures and personalities, many of whom are represented strongly in the collection, would include William Morris, Henry George, William Archer, Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, W. B. Yeats, G.K. Chesterton, H. L. Mencken, Lady Gregory, Annie Horniman, Harley Granville- Barker, Antarctic explorer Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Lawrence of Arabia, Joan of Arc, Gene Tunney, and many others; theatrical and movie personalities such as Katherine Hepburn, Gabriel Pascal, Danny Kaye, Sir Laurence Olivier, Wendy Hiller, Rex Harrison, Vivien Leigh, Audrey Hepburn, Agnes de Mille, and many others.

Scholarly books on Shaw include strong representation of works by Stanley Weintraub, Michael Holroyd, Charles Carpenter, the late Dan H. Laurence, and many others, with whom Dr. Saslav has been in communication and interaction over the years, and who have assisted Dr. Saslav by advice and contribution in the building up of the collection.  In addition Dr, Saslav is a founding member of the International Shaw Society.  A uniquely  exhaustive sub-collection documenting Shaw’s visit to New Zealand in 1934 has also been created by Dr. Saslav for the collection thanks to his six years as concertmaster of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.  An extensive selection of memorabilia from the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake inCanadais also part of the collection.

Aiding scholarly analysis of the collection is a database of information containing approximately 2,500 items, identifying the works and analyzing their relationship and relevance to the collection.  Dr. Saslav continues to update this database as the collection grows and will continue to curate the collection until the database is complete.

As stated above Dr. Saslav has been in communication and interaction with the Shaw scholarly community over the years and the results of Dr. Saslav’s researches are summarized in the list below:



“ “SHAW-CAGO” Celebrating Shaw’s Chicago Century,” The Shavian, Journal of the [London] Shaw

Society, Summer 2011, Vol. 11, No. 6, pp. 17-22.

“ ‘Shaw cathedral’ damaged” The Shavian, Journal of the [London] Shaw Society, Summer 2011, Vol.

11, No. 6, pp. 22f.

“Celebrating Shaw’s Chicago Century,” article for online Ezine Swans Commentary, April 23, 2011.

“Celebrating Shaw’s Chicago Century,” paper read at the International Shaw Society Symposium in

ChicagoILhosted by ShawChicago, October 23, 2010.

“Shaw as Musical (2)” review of A Minister’s Wife, musicalization of Candida by the Wrtiers’ Theater

in GlencoeIL, July 2009, The Shavian, Journal of the [London] Shaw Society, Summer 2010, Vol. 11, No. 3, pp. 10-15.

“How I Found Shaw,” autobiographical article for online Ezine Swans Commentary, March 23, 2009

[revised and expanded version of Shavian article below].

            “George Bernard Shaw on the Art of Conducting, 1877-1950,” lecture for the Conductors’ Guild

Convention,New YorkNY, January 11, 2009.

“How I Found Shaw,” autobiographical article in The Shavian [London], Autumn 2008, V.10, No. 7,

pp. 21- 25.

“Working with Dan Laurence,” Nicholas Grene, compiler; article of reminiscence, “Isidor Saslav,”

SHAW, The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, No. 28, 2008, pp. 263f.

            “Shaw’s letters in other people’s books,” article in SHAW, The Annual of Bernard Shaw Studies, No. 27,

2007, pp. 201-12.

            “[150th] Birthday Party: Isidor Saslav reports on a Shaw dinner in California,” The Shavian, Journal of

the [London] Shaw Society, Autumn 2006, Vol. 10, No. 3, pp. 30-31.

            “Shaw’s letters in other peoples’ books,” paper read at the Shaw 150th birthday conference,

BrownUniversity,ProvidenceRI, June 8-11, 2006.

            “Bernard Shaw and Religion,” lecture for the Unitarian Fellowship of Longview, TX,

January 16, 2005.

“GBS in Heaven (and Hell): The Shaws inNew ZealandApril 1934,” paper read at the International                                Shaw Society, Shaw Festival Symposium, Niagara-on-the-Lake ONT, July 21, 2004.

“Bernard Shaw’s New Zealand Progress March-April 1934: An illustrated commentary,”

                        Stout Centre Review, Vol II, No. 3,VictoriaUniversity,Wellington NZ, May 1992.


            MAN AND SUPERMAN

Man and Superman and Don Juan in Hell: Highlights from a Performance History 1905-2005,” paper read at the International Shaw Society, Shaw Festival Symposium, Niagara-on-the-Lake ONT, August 26, 2006. [accompanied by a 10-panel display of items from the Saslav Collection on the topic].

“Texas Celebrates Man and Superman,” review of the Round Top Theatre Forum, The Shavian                                        [London], Spring 2006, V. 10, No. 2., pp. 33-35

            Man and Superman and Don Juan in Hell: Highlights from a Performance History 1905-2005,”                                      lecture for the Round Top TX Festival Institute Theatre Forum November 4-7, 2005;

[including the10-panel display.]



Arms and the Man in Texas,” The Independent Shavian [NY] Vol. 41/2-3, 2003, pp. 68-70.

“Bernard Shaw’s ‘Arms and the Man,’ ” lecture Texas Shakespeare Festival,Kilgore TX, 2003.

[including a display case of memorabilia from the Saslav Arms and the Man collection].

“Bernard Shaw’s ‘Arms and the Man,’ ” lecture Stephen F. Austin St. U. Theater Department,

NacogdochesTX, 1999.

“Bernard Shaw’s ‘Arms and the Man,’ ” lecture Theater Hopkins, Johns Hopkins

University,BaltimoreMD, 1984

Radio New Zealand/Concert FM radio lectures, 1991-92

“Bernard Shaw on the Art of Musical Criticism”

“Victorian Concert Life as Seen by Bernard Shaw”

“Bernard Shaw on Conducting”

“Bernard Shaw on and at the Keyboard”

“Bernard Shaw on the Voice and the Art of Singing”

“How Bernard Shaw Reviewed the Ladies”


Other lectures and papers:

“Bernard Shaw: The Books, the Writing, the Man,” Book Arts Society ofNew Zealand,

WellingtonNZ, 1992.

“Bernard Shaw as Critic of 18th-century Musical Theatre,” New Zealand Musicological                                               Society Symposium, “Dramatic Music in the 17th and 18th Centuries,” Wellington NZ, 1992.

“Shaw: and, on, and inNew Zealand,” Stout Research Centre,VictoriaUniversity,WellingtonNZ,


“Noel Coward and Bernard Shaw,” Khandallah (NZ) Arts Theatre, 1992.

“Shaw Collecting inNew Zealand,” Bernard Shaw Society of New York, 1991.

“Bernard Shaw as Music Critic,” Institute of Registered Music Teachers,WellingtonNZ, 1990.

“Bernard Shaw as Music Critic and his Visit toChristchurch,”CanterburyUniversity,

ChristchurchNZ, 1989.


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