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Ian and Ross you might be interested to know that Theatre Historical Society already has an annual research contest/award called the Jeffery Weiss Literary Award Competition. Jim Rankin submitted articles to this contest more than once. Jim wrote the 1st Place entry in the 1989 competition titled “Theatre Passementerie” and took 2nd Place in the 2002 competition with “Ornamentation Old and New: Grillework in Theatresâ€ (published in THSâ€™s MarqueeÂ® Vol. 36 #2). Jim also wrote an article on the Airway Theatre (Milwaukee) that appeared in MarqueeÂ® Vol. 27 #4. To order a copy of these publications or for more information on the Jeffery Weiss Literary Award Competition visit the THS website at www.historictheatres.org or call their headquarters at 630-782-1800.
Is this a restoration OR a renovation? Are you a part of a nonprofit organization? If so, you may qualify for historic preservation grants through with the National Trust for Historic Preservation View link and/or the National Park Service historic preservation grants http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/hpg . There may also be grants through your state or local governments.
You might also try to contact the American Theatre Organ Society to see what records they have for organists.
Have you considered donating them to the Theatre Historical Society? They are a 501c3 non-profit museum and archive so you could write it off on your taxes.
You could also donate them to the Theatre Historical Society of America. They have the American Theatre Architecture Archive as well as the American Movie Palace Museum in Elmhurst, Ill. They are a 501©3 non-profit and you could claim your donation on your taxes.
Theatre Historical Society of America has an annual Conclave/Theatre Tour in a different city every year. This year the tour is in Boston, MA area running June 27th to July 1st. See their website for details about next year.
You could try the Theatre Historical Society of America. They are a non-profit and you could get a tax write off for the donation. They are located:
Theatre Historical Society
152 N York St, 2nd Floor
Elmhurst, IL 60126