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Raymond H. Ferris collection of theater programs


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

Raymond H. Ferris (1890-1972) received a BA in 1912 and an MA in 1914, both from the University of Pennsylvania, and later became an administrator at the University. In 1918, he married Edythe Fisher (1897-1995), a notable painter-- originally from Riverton, New Jersey-- who exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, among other places.

In the 1800s, Philadelphia was a theatrical center of the United States and was home to many theaters and theater companies. Notable during this time period were the actors Edwin Forrest, Charlotte Cushman, Junius Brutus Booth, the Drew family, and the Barrymores. Among the most notable theaters were the Arch Street Theatre; the Academy of Music; and the Walnut Street Theatre, which was founded in 1809 and, still operating, is a National Historic Landmark and is known as "America's Oldest Theatre."

This collection of performance programs from Philadelphia theaters, dating from 1881 to 1901, features playbills from the Academy of Music, Arch Street Theatre, Association Hall, Chestnut Street Opera House (formerly Fox's American Theatre), Congress Spring Park, Eleventh Street Opera House, Garrick Theatre, Grand Opera House, Haverly's Theatre, McCaull's Opera House, New Arch Street Opera House, New National Theatre, Park Theatre, Philadelphia Lyceum, Temple Theatre, Walnut Street Theatre, and Winter Circus. The theater programs are arranged alphabetically according to theater name.

The majority of the programs are from Arch Street Theatre, Chestnut Street Opera House, and the Walnut Street Theatre. Almost all are black and white (with the exception of one program from Garrick Theatre and one from McCaull's Opera House) and all contain a significant number of advertisements for a variety of Philadelphia businesses from clothing to food to furniture.

Gift of Raymond H. Ferris, 1914.

Formerly Dewey 812H F414.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Alexandra M. Wilder
Finding Aid Date
2017 July 12
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Collection Inventory

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Academy of Music, undated.
Box 1 Folder 1
Arch Street Theatre, 1881-1885.
Box 1 Folder 1
Association Hall, 1882.
Box 1 Folder 1
Chestnut Street Opera House, 1882-1893.
Box 1 Folder 2
Congress Spring Park, undated.
Box 1 Folder 2
Eleventh Street Opera House, 1884-1893.
Box 1 Folder 3
Garrick Theatre, 1901.
Box 1 Folder 4
Grand Opera House, 1892-1893.
Box 1 Folder 5
Haverly's Theatre, 1882-1884.
Box 1 Folder 6
McCaull's Opera House, undated.
Box 1 Folder 7
New Arch Street Opera House, 1893.
Box 1 Folder 8
New National Theatre, 1893.
Box 1 Folder 9
Park Theatre, 1892-1893.
Box 1 Folder 10
Philadelphia Lyceum, 1882-1883.
Box 1 Folder 11
Temple Theatre , 1886.
Box 1 Folder 12
Walnut Street Theatre, 1882-1893.
Box 1 Folder 13
Winter Circus, 1892-1893.
Box 1 Folder 14

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