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MS 3099, Hambleton Theatrical Collection, 1790-1941
Title Hambleton Theatrical Collection
Creator Hambleton, T. Edward.
Call number MS 3099
Inclusive dates 1790-1941
Bulk dates 1870-1940
Extent 11 boxes. 11 oversize. 3 ½ linear feet.
Abstract Series I: Theater programs, schedules, and other related ephemera. Series II: Peale Museum exhibit materials, including notes and captions. Series III: Theatre-Royal title pages and lithographs. Series IV: Copies and manuscripts of plays. Oversized: Large theater ephemera items.
Repository H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21218
Access restrictions Open to the public without restrictions.
Use restrictions Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.
Accession number Unknown.
Processing note Lara Westwood processed and created the finding aid for this collection in 2012.
The Hambleton Theatrical collection documents theater across the ages with a focus on Baltimore-area productions and playhouses. The material, originally held by the Peale Museum, appears to have been donated by T. Edward Hambleton, a prominent Broadway producer and avid theater-goer, who grew up in Baltimore (Md.). The Peale Museum used these items to build an exhibit on the history of theater from the late 1800’s to the 1940’s, especially in Baltimore. The notes of which are also a part of the collection.
The collection primarily holds ephemera, such as playbills, tickets, and advertisements, from many important Baltimore theaters. The materials included showcase the variety of productions staged in the city from elaborate productions at Ford’s Grand Opera House, amateur performances of the Paint and Powder Club, and events held at the Baltimore Stadium. A variety of plays were collected along with this material. Some contain notes from the actors or directors that may have performed them. Also included are lithographs and title pages from the plays adapted for performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, England, published by John Bell. Bell printed multiple works meant for popular consumption on famous British poets, playwrights, and authors, including The Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill and The British Theatre series.
Scope and Content
The collection is divided into series based on content. Series I contains theater-related ephemera, such as programs, playbills, and schedules. The folders are organized alphabetically by theater, performance location, performance group, or production group. Within the folders, the materials are ordered chronologically when the origin date could be indentified. Items from this series too large to be housed in the boxes are noted as oversized. Series II is the exhibition material on theater in Baltimore (Md.) and abroad from the Peale Museum. The items, such as captions and notes, are grouped into folders based on content. Series III holds title pages and lithographs of plays and operas performed at the Theatre-Royal, Drury Lane in London, and are ordered by date and alphabetically by title. The lithograph is filed with the corresponding title page if available. Series IV includes copies of plays and manuscripts of plays are organized alphabetically by playwright and work title.
Note that photographs associated with this collection have been removed to PP 271, the Hambleton Theatrical Photograph collection.