Samuel Phelps papers
Professional and personal correspondence, scripts, and promptbooks of English actor and theater manager Samuel Phelps.
- Majority of material found in 1843-1871
Language of Materials
Collection materials are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.
Extent1.5 linear foot (3 boxes)
Contains correspondence, both professional and personal, the bulk being to his wife and children; manuscript actors' sides; promptbooks; printed scripts and part books; writings by Phelps; and miscellaneous material relating to his theatrical career and personal life.
Biographical / Historical
Phelps, a noted tragedian, took over the management of Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, in 1843, and presented a series of major Shakespearean revivals. His productions were notable for their pageantry as well as for Phelps' efforts to restore the Shakespearean text.
Organized into the following series:
- I. Correspondence
- II. Compositions
- III. Personal materials
- IV. Theatrical materials.
- V. Unprocessed editions and prompt copies
- ___A. Manuscripts
- ___B. Manuscript sides
- ___C. Printed part books and acting copies
- ___D. Promptbooks
- ___E. Editions and lightly marked copies
- ___F. Addenda
Immediate Source of Acquisition
2003MT-145. Source unknown.
2016MT-81. Gift of Jane and Bernard McNamee and family, 2017 June.
A portion of this collection is processed (Series IV-V).
- Phelps, Samuel, 1804-1878. Samuel Phelps papers, 1835-1886 (MS Thr 444): Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA