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Edwin Booth Collection

Identifier: SC-MS-115

Scope and Contents

This collection includes extensive biographical data on the actor, producer, and teacher, Edwin Booth. He was renowned in Europe, and the U.S.--with his brothers Junius and John Wilkes--for his interpretation of Shakespeare's tragedies. Edwin Booth's career spanned from the years 1849, to his last performance as Hamlet at the Academy of Music in 1891, in Brooklyn N.Y. This collection contains various scrapbooks, theatre collections, stage plans, and settings for all plays performed at Booth's Theatre, casts of numerous Shakespearian works, reviews in the Harvard Theatre Collection, and a computer disk containing Booths life and accomplishments in chronological order.


  • Other: 1800s

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Copyright Statement

Copyright retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States  copyright law.

Biographical Note

  Chronology 1833 Nov 13 Born at Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland, fourth son of Junius Brutus Booth, the elder, and Mary Anne (Holmes) Booth 1849 Sep 10 Debut appearance on stage at the Boston Museum, played the minor role of Tressel in Richard III at the age of 15 1850 Sep 20 Debut New York stage appearance at the National Theatre, Chatham Street, in the character of Wilford in Colman's The Iron Chest 1851 Debut as Richard III at the National Theatre, New York City 1852 Nov 30 Junius Brutus Booth, the elder, died 1855 Dec 10 Along with Mrs. Catherine Forrest Sinclair, produced for the first time in America The Marble Heart or The Sculptor's Dream, in which Booth created the part of Raphael at the Sacramento Theatre, CA 1860 Jul 7 Married Mary Devlin of Troy, NY 1861 Dec 9 Edwina, his only child, was born in England 1863 Feb 21 Became the manager of the Winter Garden Theatre in New York 1863 - 1868 Co-managed the Winter Garden Theatre in New York and the Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia along with his brother-in-law, John Sleeper (Sleepy) Clarke 1864 Nov 25 The Booth brothers, Edwin, Junius and John Wilkes, performed Julius Caesar 1865 - 1866 Edwin retired from the theatre due to the Lincoln assassination and the death of his brother, John Wilkes Booth 1866 Jan 3 Edwin returned to acting 1867 Mar 23 The Winter Garden Theatre burned to the ground 1868 Apr 8 Cornerstone laid for Booth's Theatre at southeast corner of Sixth Avenue and Twenty Third Street in New York City 1869 Feb 3 Booth's Theatre opened with Romeo and Juliet 1869 Jun 7 Married Mary McVicker 1873 Jun 14 Booth's Theatre closed its' last season 1873 Sep Economic panic in America forced Booth into bankruptcy 1871 -1878 Booth arranged for the publication the text of fifteen of his unusual plays under the editorship of William Winter as Edwin Booth's Prompt Book. 1881 Nov 13 Mary McVicker Booth died 1883 Dec 31 The Players Club opened 1891 Apr 4 Booth's last performance Hamlet at the Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY 1893 Jun 7 Edwin Booth died in New York City


4 Containers (Contains 1 document box and 3 oversize boxes)

Language of Materials


Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Gerald L. Honaker in 1993.

Edwin Booth Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Randall Library Special Collections Repository