Monday, February 1, 2010

History of Boston Theater Comes to Life

The History of the Boston Theatre, 1854-1901. Compiled with the assistance of Quincy Kilby. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1908. xv, 550 p. illus., ports. 26 cm.

The History of the Boston Theatre is a four-volume set describing and illustrating the productions mounted by theater companies in Boston, season by season, between 1854 and 1901. The copy in the Brandeis collection, digitized and available on the Internet Archive, is unique: bound in with the existing pages are portraits of actors (many with original inscriptions), theater programs, theater reviews clipped from journals, and hand-written correspondence, making the set even richer for research.

Some of the correspondence, programs, portraits, and signatures tipped in to the Brandeis set after it was published indicate that the additional materials might have been added by Wilmot Evans, a prominent Boston banker and politician. The set was given to Brandeis by Mr. and Mrs. Herman A. Mintz; Herman Mintz was a Boston attorney and founding partner of the prominent law firm Mintz Levin. Mr. Mintz had a special interest in Boston theater.

The History of the Boston Theatre is available on the Internet Archive website:


  1. It's great to see such a large visual collection. Putting a face with the story really ties everything together.
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