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This month, D-Lib Magazine features the collection, eOneill.com, which is devoted to the life and work of Eugene O'Neill, who most consider to be America's greatest playwright. O'Neill received four Pulitzer prizes for his plays, which are still being presented to critical acclaim in theaters throughout the world.
The owner and webmaster of eOneill.com is Harley J. Hammerman, M.D., and he is supported in this work by an Advisory Committee of distinguished scholars.
One section of eOneill.com is entitled "The Hammerman Collection", and in the introduction to the section, Dr. Hammerman provides his purpose for creating and making available not only his personal collection of resources about Eugene O'Neill, but resources for the entire eOneill.com collection as well. He says, "O'Neill's plays are a direct reflection of his complex life, culminating in the openly autobiographical Long Day's Journey Into Night. Consequently, one must understand O'Neill's life in order to truly understand and appreciate his great body of work." eOneill.com contains a wealth of resources to fulfill this mission.
The Hammerman Collection contains a "Production Archive", which "includes artifacts from various theatrical, film, television, and radio productions" of O'Neill's plays. "While not all inclusive, the productions represented within serve as an online databasecomplete with programs, photographs, reviews and other pertinent information."
Complete electronic texts of some of O'Neill's plays are available at eOneill.com, and for plays that, due to copyright restrictions, cannot be made available in full text online, links are provided to sites where the plays can be ordered. A brief O'Neill biography from Encyclopedia Britannica is provided and, as with the plays, links to sources for published biographies are provided as well.
A few of O'Neill's plays can be heard in their entirety via the eOneill.com "Audio Archive" using RealPlayer (which can be downloaded free of charge from the eOneill.com site). These include: Anna Christie (two versions), Ah,Wilderness! (three versions), The Emperor Jones and Where The Cross is Made, Strange Interlude (Part II) and Beyond The Horizon.
The serious O'Neill scholar will benefit from the finding aid created by Miriam B. Spectre for several Eugene O'Neill collections held in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, including the "Eugene O'Neill Papers", which were donated by O'Neill, his wife Carlotta, and the estate of Carlotta Monterey O'Neill. (Some of the Beinecke collections contain resources that can be viewed online.)
However, the section on the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is but one of several sections making up the eOneill.com collection. Others include: The Louis Sheaffer-Eugene O'Neill Collection; the Museum of the City of New York; Eugene O'Neill Foundation, Tao House; The Clifton Waller Barrett Library; The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection; and the Eugene O'Neill Letters Project.
O'Neill scholars may also be interested in the eOneill.com "Essays" section, presented in collaboration with Suffolk University and The Eugene O'Neill Review, and in the Forum section, where scholars and students can share information.
eOneill.com offers many other resources than those described here, but to appreciate the depth and breadth of the collection, it is necessary visit the site. eOneill.com is at <http://www.eoneill.com/index.htm>.
Copyright© 2003 Corporation for National Research Initiatives