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Other Programs, 1881-1963

 Series — document case: MSS 031 Box 02
Identifier: MSS 031-2

Scope and Contents

This series contain playbills from theaters and concert halls outside of Boston. Locations include New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and various places in Massachusetts. The New York Programs folder includes performances from Sarah Berhardt & Co., Cort Theatre, Wallack's Theatre, the Metropolitan Theatre, Maxine Elliot's Theatre, Moroscoe Theatre, the Capital Theatre, Knickerbocker Theatre, Radio City Music Hall, Empire Theatre, Winter Garden Theatre, Center Theatre, Theatre de Lys, and Alvin Theatre. There are also souvenir programs for performances of "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," "That Lady," and the Imperial Russian Ballet.

The Miscellaneous Programs folders includes performances from the Bristol Club Minstrels at Taunton Theatre, New Cape Theatre, Newark Theatre, and Mariarden. It also contains the complete script for a performance of the comic opera "Patience or Bunthorne's Bride."


  • 1881-1963


Language of Materials

Records in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Sarah Moore Field lived all of her long life in the gracious home at 266 Main Street in North Andover, Massachusetts. Purchased by her great-grandparents, Jeremiah Smith and Sarah Field in 1874 the Field household reflected a restrained, upper middle class taste. Sarah Moore Field became the family historian and carefully preserved the furnishings, photographs, financial records, letters, memorabilia, and personal property accumulated by three generations of her family in hope that one day the Field House would be opened to the public. Though her dream never came to fruition, selected items from her collection, such as these theatre programs, will continue to be accessible to the public.

Theater programs and playbills have evolved significantly over the course of the 19th and 20th century. Appearing first as a single sheet, usually consisting of the actors' names and scenes in the play, by the early 1900s playbills had evolved into booklets which often included advertisements and actors' biographies. Playbills briefly reverted back to the single sheet format during World War II. Starting in the early 1900s, souvenir program books were also printed to commemorate a specific play during its run, and were not tied to specific performances or theaters. These programs were larger than playbills and usually include photos of the actors, biographies, and a summary of the plot.


0.25 linear feet; 1 box


This series is arranged alphabetically by location, then chronologically.

Physical Location


Repository Details

Part of the Emerson College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Walker Building, Room 223
120 Boylston Street
Boston Massachusetts 02116 United States
(617) 824-8301