Colonel T. Allston Brown history of the American stage notebooks
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Colonel T. Allston Brown was a theater critic, newspaper editor, talent agent and theater historian who lived from 1836 to 1918. He spent the majority of his adult life in Philadelphia, PA. He published extensively on the history of theater including his exhaustive series of the History of the American Stage, published in 1870 and A History of the New York Stage from the First Performance in 1732 to 1901, published in 1902.
Brown was never in the military but was informally given the title "Colonel" when he was working as manager and treasurer at Gardner & Madigan's circus and filled in for one of the tightrope walkers who went missing immediately before the show. It is possible that Brown was a member of the Green Room Club, a New York fraternal organization founded in December 20, 1902 for men involved in dramatic arts, to which he gifted the volumes in this collection.
This collection includes five bound volumes containing handwritten notes and newspaper clippings concerning the history of the American stage. The volumes are organized by geographic location, the first is focused on Boston, the second on Philadelphia, the third on New York City, the fourth on Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, greater Pennsylvania, New Jersey, greater New York, and Rhode Island, and the fifth and final volume is focused on Brooklyn. These volumes contain information on actors, theatres, theatre companies, circuses, and a variety of shows from 1749 all the way to 1905, just one year before Colonel T. Allston Brown presented the volumes to the Green Room Club. In addition to documenting the theater, the notebooks also contain information on everything from circuses to early African-American theater to a burlesque Ethiopian opera.
It is possible that Brown collected these newspaper clippings while researching his works on the New York and American stage.
These volumes were previously classed as 812H B814.3 Volumes 1-5.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Kelin Baldridge
- Finding Aid Date
- 2015 March 2
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.