Edgar L. Potts dissertation and research on Philadelphia theater
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
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Overview and metadata sections
Edgar Leroy Potts was born on August 23, 1893, the son of George E. and Anna C. Potts in Philadelphia. He obtained his education at Philadelphia's Central High School and Princeton University, where he majored in English and history, and graduated in 1916. Following his graduation, he entered law school at the University of Pennsylvania. At the start of World War I, he offered his services to the war effort, but "due to physical difficulties was rejected" (Princeton Alumni Weekly). Instead, he worked at a training camp at the YMCA until the war was over; at which point he returned to the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, graduating in 1920. He also earned his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, probably in 1932.
Potts never practiced law, but served as an instructor in the English Department of the University of Pennsylvania from 1925 to 1938, when he was appointed as an assistant professor. The Princeton Alumni Weekly stated that he had a "wide range of interests in literature, music, [and] the theater." He died on March 12, 1970.
Princeton Alumni Weekly, Volume 70, page 21.
This collection documents Edgar L. Potts' study of the theater which resulted in his dissertation for the Department of English in 1932. The collection consists of two typed drafts of the dissertation entitled, "The History of Philadelphia Theatre, 1890-1900." The collection also includes a handwritten document Potts called "Introduction to the 'Calendar,'" in which he describes his intention to create a chronological outline of the Philadelphia stage for the decade January 1, 1890 to December 31, 1899. The last four files in the collection were probably part of the calendar, although they record only the plays from the year 1890. It is unknown if the remaining years were completed as research for his dissertation and were not saved or if Potts never finished his work and submitted his thesis without the years 1891 to 1899.
This collection provides an important insight into Philadelphia's theater history in the late 19th century.
Gift of Frank S. Christian, 1970.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Devorah Sperling-Billings
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 August 1
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research.
- 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.