Collection MSS 009 - Jackson-Dowd Theater Collection

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Jackson-Dowd Theater Collection


  • 1880 - 1993 (Creation)


11.2 linear feet, 24 boxes

Name of creator

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Name of creator

Biographical history

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Jackson-Dowd Theater Collection includes journals, theater programs, flyers, and newspaper clippings. The journals list theater productions in US and Canadian cities from 1880-1977, with the bulk of the journals addressing Boston and New York City productions. Programs and flyers document Boston and New York City productions from1926-1993, with a minimal amount of programs for non-Boston area Massachusetts productions. Since Jackson died in 1977, later performances must have been attended by Dowd or her acquaintances. Earlier programs may have belonged to either Jackson or Dowd. Newspaper clippings include articles about theater productions, show reviews, and actor photographs.

System of arrangement

Series 1: Journals
Subseries A: Boston
Subseries B: New York City
Subseries C: Chicago
Subseries D: US and Canada
Subseries E: Beatrice Dowd’s Majestic

Series 2: Programs and Flyers
Subseries A: Boston
Subseries B: New York City
Subseries C: Massachusetts

Series 3: Flyers, Thin Programs and Newspaper Clippings
Subseries A: Boston flyers and programs
Subseries B: New York City flyers and programs
Subseries C: Newspaper clippings

A partial title index to Series 2 is available in Box 23, Folder 114.

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

This collection is open to researchers.

Physical access

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Some materials may be subject to copyright. No part of the materials protected by copyright may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the copyright holder. Researchers are required to seek permission from the copyright holder to reproduce and/or publish materials under copyright.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

William B. Jackson, Jr. was an employee of the Shubert Theatre in Boston in the mid-20th century. He compiled journals listing theater productions in the United States and Canada from 1880-1977. He inserted loose notes into these journals, and the dates from these notes indicate that he completed the bulk of the collection during 1950-1970.

Beatrice Dowd added a note to the 1977 Boston journal, writing that Jackson died October 11, 1977. The last date in his journals is August 22, 1977, meaning he worked on this long-term project until very shortly before his death. Dowd, a 1945 Emerson alum, was a close friend of Jackson. She worked for the Wilbur Theatre and the Shubert Theatre. She took a particular interest in the history of the Majestic Theatre, and created her own journal based upon Jackson’s information to document its history.


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