Bartholomew family theatrical scrapbooks
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
William H. Bartholomew (born 1832) and Sallie Apt Bartholomew (1863-1934) were actors based in Philadelphia. They were the parents of Ethel C. Bartholomew (born 1889) who was an actress. William H. Bartholomew appeared under the stage name "W.H. Allen" from 1852 until 1856 or 1858, and it appears that he retired to the Edwin Forrest Home.
The Edwin Forrest Home was founded in 1873 using funds from the will of Edwin Forrest (1806-1872), a prominent Philadelphia actor in the nineteenth century. Having left no heirs, Forrest devised a plan to use his fortune to build the Edwin Forrest Home as a retirement facility for elderly actors. Extensive acting experience and an impressive résumé were requirements for admission. In his will he wrote, "I would make my fortune the means to elevate the education of others and promote their success, and to alleviate their sufferings and smooth the pillows of the unfortunate, in sickness or other disability, or the decay of declining years." The institution operated in a few different locations in the Philadelphia area until 1986, when it merged with the Actor's Fund retirement home in New Jersey due to financial difficulties.
Works Cited Historical Society of Pennsylvania. "The will of Edwin Forrest" dated 1872. Edwin Forest Home Records, collection 3068, box 27, folder 1.
The Bartholomew family scrapbook collection consists of five volumes compiled by the Bartholomew family between 1872 and 1948. The scrapbooks contain photographs of the Bartholomew family and unnamed people (who may also be the Bartholomews); notices and reviews of the Bartholomew family members' performances; newspaper clippings related to the Bartholomews, the Edwin Forrest Home, and the theater in general; correspondence to and from the Bartholomew family members, including funeral bills; and handwritten annotations.
The first scrapbook is mostly empty, but on the first few pages are pasted notices and reviews of Sallie Apt Bartholomew's performances. The donor suggests Sallie Apt Bartholomew as the compiler of this scrapbook. Miscellaneous inserts that were not pasted in have been removed and filed in Box 1 Folder 2 for purposes of preservation.
The donor has attributed the second and third scrapbooks to Ethel Bartholomew. These scrapbooks have been removed from their acidic binding for preservation purposes, but the order of the pages was maintained. Scrapbook II consists mainly of publicity photographs of an unnamed actress, most likely Ethel Bartholomew's mother, Sallie Apt (Sallie Apt Bartholomew). There are also a few photographs of an unidentified man, possibly William H. Bartholomew. Other material relates to the Edwin Forrest home, a residence for retired actors.
Scrapbook III contains a number of playbills from the Walnut Street and Chestnut Street Theaters (Philadelphia) in the 1910s and 1920s, including a production of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" with Ethel Bartholomew in a minor role. The scrapbook also includes assorted correspondence including bills for the funerals of Sarah A. Apt (1892 February 12), Lewis H. Apt (1919 December 19), and Sallie Apt Bartholomew (1932 August 13). Sarah A. Apt and Lewis H. Apt are presumed to be Sallie Apt Bartholomew's parents.
The fourth and fifth scrapbooks are signed by William H. Bartholomew and were probably compiled by him or his wife, Sallie Apt, but it is impossible to determine this absolutely from the existing materials. Scrapbook IV includes theatrical clippings, such as notices and reviews of the productions of Moffitt and Bartholomew's pantomime troupe. Much of the scrapbook is filled with miscellany (including poems and anecdotes) and items of general theatrical interest (such as reminiscences of Edwin Booth). On the inside front cover is the description "Present from...December 25, 18??" The name appears to have been deliberately erased, and the erasure obscures the date as well. Several pages have been defaced by scissor cuts. Inserts that were not pasted in were removed and filed in Box 1 Folder 18 for purposes of preservation.
The final scrapbook consists of assorted playbills and clippings, most of which are connected to William H. Bartholomew's stage career. Later clippings concern his retirement at the Edwin Forrest Home, Philadelphia. On the cover is the handwritten inscription "W.H. Bartholomew's Scrap-Book Dec 6th 1852-190? (obscured). To my much esteemed Friend Mr. James McCleese." Detached pieces were removed and filed in Box 2 Folder 2 for preservation.
Gift of St. Elizabeth's Church, Philadelphia, 1980.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Molly B. Hutt
- Finding Aid Date
- 2014 September 17
- 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.