Series 1 - Boston Programs

B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of May 8, 1905 B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of October 2, 1911 B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of March 13, 1911 B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of April 1, 1912 B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of January 22, 1912 B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of May 5, 1913 B. F. Keith's Theatre Program, Week of February 3, 1913 Newspaper Article About Sylvester Schaffer B. F. Keith's Theatre Concert Program Boston Opera House Adeline Genee Boston Opera House Season of Grand Opera Program Boston Opera House Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle in Modern Dances Program Boston Opera House Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle in Modern Dances Program Boston Opera House Mr. and Mrs. Vernon Castle in Modern Dances Program Boston Opera House Chu Chin Chow Program
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Identity elements

Reference code

US MBE MSS 031-1

Name and location of repository

Level of description

Series

Title

Boston Programs

Date(s)

  • 1901-1962 (Creation)

Extent

1.25 linear feet; 1 box

Name of creator

(1885 - 1988)

Biographical history

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.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

This series contains programs and playbills from theatrical and musical performances in Boston, Massachusetts. The programs range in format from single sheet pamphlets to large souvenir brochures. Many theaters in Boston changed names multiple times over the course of their existence. A listing of known Boston theater locations as well as a list of name changes over time is included in the Appendix.

The Miscellaneous Performances and Events folder contains programs from special community performances and touring events. Community events include performances by the Knights of King Arthur of the Congregational Church of West Roxbury, the Vincent Club, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston Children’s Theatre, and Globe Theatre. There are also programs for a touring performance of the radio program “Roxy and His Gang” and a 1953 performance of “Ice Capades.” Additionally, there is an official program for the 1911 Harvard-Boston Aero Meet.

System of arrangement

This series is arranged alphabetically by theatre. Items within each folder are arranged chronologically.

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The collection is open to researchers

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