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Brenda Weisberg Meckler Papers 1938-1988


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Meckler, Brenda Weisberg, 1900-
Title: Brenda Weisberg Meckler Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1938-1988
Quantity: 5 Boxes (2.5 Linear Feet)
Abstract:This collection houses a variety of materials documenting Brenda Meckler's career as a screenwriter, involvement with the Phoenix Little Theatre, and authorship of Papa was a Farmer.
Identification: FM MSS 58
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Greater Arizona Collection
Arizona State University Library
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Phoenix writer Brenda Weisberg Meckler was born in Russia in 1900 and emigrated to the U.S. with her parents in 1904. The family left their Ohio farm and relocated to Arizona in 1918. By the time she graduated from high school, Brenda Weisberg was already an accomplished writer. She wrote articles for local Phoenix publications and started the city's first Jewish newspaper, the Southwestern Jewish Star. From Phoenix she moved to Hollywood and spent 15 years writing television and movie scripts for Universal, RKO, and Columbia Pictures. She continued to write short stories and articles as well, which appeared in Collier's and other national publications.

In 1952 Brenda Weisberg returned to Phoenix and married Morris Meckler. After her marriage, she became very active in support of the arts in Phoenix and was involved with the Phoenix Little Theater as a writer, director, and actor.

In 1988, Meckler published her first and only book, an autobiographical account of her youth entitled Papa was a Farmer.

Scope and Content Note

This collection houses a variety of materials documenting Brenda Meckler's career as a screenwriter, involvement with the Phoenix Little Theatre, and authorship of Papa was a Farmer.


This collection consists of five boxes divided into four series:
Series I: Screenplays
Series II: Phoenix Little Theatre
Series III: Papa was a Farmer
Series IV: Miscellaneous Writings


Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments in the Distinctive Collections Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (rm. 138) on the Tempe campus are available on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Note: All library reading rooms are currently closed as part of the ASU Library's COVID-19 response. Ask an Archivist is available Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m., for reference assistance regarding collection materials.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Meckler, Brenda Weisberg, 1900- -- Archives.
Meckler, Brenda Weisberg, 1900- Papa was a farmer.

Corporate Name(s)
Phoenix Little Theatre.

Geographic Name(s)
Phoenix (Ariz.).

Motion picture plays -- Women authors.
Screenwriters -- United States.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Brenda Weisberg Meckler donated these papers to the Arizona Historical Foundation.

Credit Line

Brenda Weisberg Meckler Papers, FM MSS 58. Arizona State University Library: Greater Arizona Collection.


The Arizona Historical Foundation transferred these materials to the Arizona Collection in 2012.

Container List

Series I: Screenplays
11 Little Tough Guy, 1938 (Initial Story Treatment)
12 Little Tough Guy, 1938
13 Saints in Training, 1938
14 Mob Town, 1941
15 Moonlight in Hawaii, 1941
16 Dead End Kids, 1942
17 Mug Town, 1942
18 The Mad Ghoul, 1943
19 The Black Widow, 1944
110 China Sky, 1944
211 Happy Birthday to You, 1944 (Initial Treatment)
212 Strictly Ding-Dong, 1944 (Initial Treatment)
213 Happy Birthday to You, 1945
214 Strictly Ding-Dong, 1945
215 Alias Mr. Twilight (I Don't Like to Die), 1946
216 Alias Mr. Twilight, 1946 (Revisions)
217 King of the Wild Horses, 1946
218 Shadowed, 1946
219 My Dog Rusty, 1947
220 Port Said, 1947
321 Woman Hunt, 1947 (Initial Treatment)
322 Rusty Pays a Debt, 1948
323 Girls' School, 1949
324 Rusty's Birthday, 1949
325 The Substance of his House, 1950
326 Reunion in Reno, 1951
Based on original story "Heaven's a Little Place" (Folder 32)
327 Desert Answer, 1953
328 Beyond the Sunset, circa 1945
329 Four Aces, circa 1945
330 Dearest Treasure, circa 1945
331 A Hair Divides, circa 1945
432 Heaven's a Little Place, circa 1945
Later re-titled "Heaven's Where You Find It".
433 Little Girl Lost, circa 1945 (Story Treatment)
434 The Long Years Passing, circa 1945
435 Magna Cum Laude, circa 1945 (Story Treatment)
436 Nowhere to Go, circa 1945
437 The Party Dress, circa 1945
438 Peon in the U.S.A., circa 1945 (Story Treatment)
439 Shadow on the Sun, circa 1945
440 The Sheriff Runs, circa 1945
441 The Sword in the Heart, circa 1945
442 Weird Woman, circa 1945
443 A Winter's Tale, circa 1940 (Story Treatment)
Series II: Phoenix Little Theatre
51 Rhode Island Refugee, circa 1960 (Original Script)
52 Schechter, circa 1960 (Original Script)
53 To Be Free, circa 1960 (Original Script)
54 Phoenix Little Theater Program Notes, circa 1960 (Incomplete Draft)
Series III: Papa was a Farmer
Papa was a Farmer was originally titled A Bend in the Road.
51 A Bend in the Road "explorations", circa 1985 (Preliminary Writing Exercise)
52 A Bend in the Road, circa 1987 (Manuscript; Chapters 1-16)
53 A Bend in the Road, circa 1987 (Manuscript; Chapters 17-Epilogue)
54 Papa was a Farmer, 1988 (Galley Proof)
Series IV: Miscellaneous Writings
51 "Civilized People" in Collier's, 1951 (Short Story)