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San Diego Union Performing Arts Department Records

Identifier: MS-0226

Scope and Contents

The materials in this collection document the rich history of the performing arts in San Diego from the late 1940s to 2001, as collected by the Entertainment Department at the San Diego Union. The editor of the Entertainment Department, Welton Jones, maintained these working files during his many years as a columnist for the San Diego Union and as an enthusiastic patron of the performing arts in San Diego. His Entertainment staff added many items to the collection, including photographs from the Photography Department of local venues, performers, and performances.

Series I: Office Records includes the correspondence of the Entertainment Department with local organizations and individuals involved in the performing arts scene in San Diego. Welton Jones' daily appointment diaries chronicle his activities as editor and show the range of performances he covered on his beat. Subject files for the Entertainment Department include clippings, press releases, and internal notes on a number of topics, organizations, and arts-related initiatives in the San Diego area.

Series II: Publicity, Programs, and Photographs is comprised of five subseries, each arranged further into regional sub-sub series. Folders in these series include theatre programs, press releases and publicity ephemera, and photographs of performances or sites (usually taken by the Photography Department of the San Diego Union). Subseries I: Theatre and Performing Organizations contains materials documenting numerous theatre venues or performing organizations in San Diego, and is the largest and strongest of the multiple subseries. The files in Subseries I document theatre history over a fifty year period in San Diego, and include materials on many obscure or defunct performing organizations in the area. Theatres throughout the nation and internationally are also represented in Subseries I. The strength of Subseries II: Music and Opera, lies in its coverage of the San Diego Civic Light Opera, San Diego Opera, and the San Diego Symphony. The last three subseries, Subseries 3: Ballet and Dance, Subseries 4: Performers and Actors, and Subseries 5: Art contain less robust documentation of the San Diego scenes.

Series III: California Arts Commission and Arts Council documents Jones' work on these organizations over a thirty-year period.


  • Creation: 1940-2002

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.


40.45 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Series I: Office Records, 1966-1999

      1. Correspondence, 1966-1977

      2. Appointment Diaries, 1966-1981

      3. Subject Files, 1951-1999

Series II: Publicity, Programs, and Photographs, 1919-1996

      1. Theatres and Performing Organizations, 1919-1996

            a. San Diego

            b. National

            c. International

      2. Music and Opera, 1960-1994

            a. San Diego

            b. National

            c. International

      3. Ballet and Dance

            a. San Diego

            b. National

            c. International

      4. Performers and Actors

            a. San Diego

            b. National

      5.  Art

            a. San Diego

            b. National

Series III: California Arts Commission and Arts Council

Source of Acquisition

Al Jacoby and Welton Jones

Accruals and Additions

9999-037, 1985-006, 1991-005, 2002-046

Related Materials

Records of JuleTone Productions, Incorporated

San Diego Opera Association Records

San Diego Opera Guild Records

San Digeo Opera Office Records

Old Globe Theatre Photograph Collection

Vishner Performing Arts Collection

Ellis Family Theater Memorabilia Collection

San Diego Union Performing Arts Department Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US