Judith (née Williams) Barcroft Washam (1942-) Papers
Scope and Contents
The Judith Barcroft collection fills 63 boxes and spans the years 1932-2019. Included are biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, television periodicals, newspapers and magazines, datebooks, journals, written work by Judith Barcroft, written work by various authors, theater scripts, theater-related items, television-related items, art-related records, legal-sized materials, and oversized items.
The biographical materials section is arranged in a rough chronological order and contains various documents dating between 1932 -2018. Included are scrapbooks from Barcroft’s childhood as well as many items from her involvement in religious organizations.
Correspondence is first arranged alphabetically by surnames of names of prominent and regular correspondents. Thereafter, correspondence is grouped by topical headings in a rough chronological flow. This section includes correspondence from some significant individuals in television broadcasting such as Agnes Nixon and Karen Lynn Gorney. Photographs in this collection primarily capture Barcroft’s career in television and theater. They include many of her headshots, as well as photographs from plays in college and her professional career.
The television magazines section is arranged in chronological order and includes periodicals covering daytime television primarily from the 1960s and 1970s. Barcroft, or one of the soap operas in which she appeared, is featured in each of the magazines found here.
The newspaper and magazine section includes additional, but more broadly-based magazines Barcroft was featured in, such as People and Time. This section also includes newspaper clippings regarding plays in which Barcroft acted, dating from her high school and college productions to Broadway shows.
The datebooks in this collection are arranged in chronological order and span the years 1969-2018. These consist of datebooks annotated with both personal and professional appointments.
The journals in this collection are arranged in chronological order and include journals belonging to both Barcroft and to her mother, Jean McCardell Williams. This section also includes journals with notes relating to Barcroft’s classes at Stephens College.
The written work by Judith Barcroft is arranged chronologically and contains plays, short stories, and poetry written by Barcroft. It also includes class notes from Stephens College and Northwestern University, as well as personal essays relating to Barcroft’s religious beliefs.
The written work by various authors is arranged chronologically and includes poetry, plays, and sermons written by authors other than Barcroft. This section also includes a memorial essay written for James Williams by his stepdaughter, as well as a draft of his book.
The theater scripts form the largest section in the collection and are arranged alphabetically by title. This section spans most of Barcroft’s career in theater career, with scripts dating from the period 1957-2019. Most of the scripts found here have been annotated by Barcroft.
The theater-related items section contains documents pertaining to Barcroft’s theater career. The first half of the section is arranged chronologically and contains items such as playbills and Barcroft’s acting resumes. The second half of the section contains files on plays in which Barcroft performed, arranged alphabetically by title. Each file may contain various materials relating to a specific production, including correspondence, schedules, or scripts. The television-related items section contains documents associated with Barcroft’s television career. This includes a set schedule from All My Children and a script from Another World.
The art-related items section contains documents relating to Barcroft’s art career. This includes Barcroft’s sketches and art resumes, as well as documents from her time in the Art Students League of New York.
The legal-sized items include various documents such as contracts for Barcroft’s art and theater work, as well as poetry written by Barcroft.
The oversized items include many biographical materials such as yearbooks from St. Mary’s Hall and Stephens College, scrapbooks, and Barcroft’s sketchbooks.
- circa 1930-2019
- Barcroft, Judith, 1942- (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Box 52, Folders 1-2, "Theater Contracts, 1965-1993," and ""Theater earning statements, 1966-1979," have been restricted and access requires permission of the University Archivist.
This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days' advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.
Biographical / Historical
Judith Lawrence Williams was born on July 6, 1942, in Washington, D.C., to Rev. James Lawrence Basil Williams and Jean McCardell Williams. She has one brother, Ian Williams. Judith’s family traveled often for her father’s work as an Episcopal priest. She attended elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia, before moving to Germany for one year and attending the American School on the Rhine in Godesberg, Germany, for sixth grade. She returned to Millwood, Virginia, for seventh grade, before attending the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. for eighth through tenth grade. In 1958, her family moved from Virginia to Oklahoma, and Judith transferred to St. Mary’s Hall in Faribault, Minnesota for eleventh and twelfth grade. In the summer of 1959, Judith attended Perry-Mansfield School of Theater and Dance in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. During her years at the National Cathedral School and St. Mary’s Hall, Barcroft acted in several school play productions.
Upon graduating from St. Mary’s Hall in 1960, Judith attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. After two years, she transferred to Northwestern University, where she studied acting with Alvina Krause and poetry with Stephen Spender. She graduated with a B.S. degree in speech in 1964.
After graduating from Northwestern, Judith moved to New York City. Her first week living in New York, she booked a job touring the United States with Never Too Late. She then changed her name from Judith Williams to Judith Barcroft because there was already a Judith Williams in the Actors Equity Association, the union representing those who work in live theatrical performance. Her first Broadway play was Mating Dance in 1965, followed by Dinner at Eight in 1966. Barcroft also inaugurated her role as Lenore Moore on the NBC soap opera Another World in 1966.
In 1968, Barcroft joined the cast of the Broadway play Plaza Suite. During her time in Plaza Suite, Barcroft met her husband, Wisner M. Washam, who was production stage manager for the show. They married on June 15, 1969, at St. Thomas Church in New York City. On April 19, 1971, Barcroft and Washam’s first child, Ian Miller Washam, was born. The same year, Barcroft joined the cast of the ABC soap opera All My Children, playing the character Ann Tyler. Washam later became head writer of that show, for which he won three Emmys. Ian Washam also appeared on All My Children as Little Phillip in 1974.
On April 8, 1974, Barcroft and Washam’s second Child, Amy Lawrence Washam was born. In 1977, Barcroft left All My Children and returned to Broadway, where she appeared in All God’s Chillun Got Wings, Shimada, and Betrayal, as well as The Elephant Man alongside David Bowie. She later briefly returned to soap operas for the role of Barbara Wilde in Ryan’s Hope from 1981 to 1982, as well as appearing in a few episodes of As the World Turns between 1978 and 1984.
Between her acting assignments, Barcroft attended the Art Students League of New York. She served on the board for three years as the women’s vice-president and won a merit scholarship with free tuition for one year. She began showing and selling her artwork in 1987. Her artwork explores styles of expressionism and fauvism. She has studied art at the Borghese Gallery in Rome, and she started the Christian Artists Guild in New York.
Starting in 1989, Barcroft has been more actively involved in Episcopal Church ministries and other religious work. In 1998, after her father’s death, she became a Stephen Minister, chalice bearer, and lector. She also studied clinical pastoral care and taught art therapy to teenagers in drug rehabilitation for the Phoenix House program. When available, she has taught Sunday school and bible study since 1970.
In the 1990s Barcroft joined two theatre companies, Playwright’s Harbor and Circle East. In these groups she served as a dramaturge as well as acted, directed, developed, and wrote plays.
Language of Materials
Judith (née Williams) Barcroft Washam is a television and theater actress with a career spanning over fifty years. She is best known for her roles on soap operas All My Children and Another World. This collection includes biographical materials, correspondence, photographs, television magazines, newspapers and magazines, datebooks, journals, written work by Judith Barcroft, written work by various authors, theater scripts, theater-related items, television-related items, art-related items, legal-sized items, and oversized items.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Donated to Northwestern University Archives by Judith Barcroft Washam, April 12, 2019 (Accession 2019-48).
- Guide to the Judith (née Williams) Barcroft Washam (1942-) Papers
- Nina Hoek
- 2022 July-August
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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