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  • Most of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 432

Boston Bijou Theatre Company records

Overview

Primarily financial records of the Boston Bijou Theatre Company, the first American theater equipped with an electrical lighting system.

Dates

  • 1882-1927

Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The majority of collection is open for research. One item, the Edison light bulb, is restricted and requires the curator's permission to be seen.

Most of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Extent

3 linear feet (14 boxes)

Chiefly financial records, including receipts for salaries and building expenses, cancelled checks, and account books. Also contains bylaws and minutes of the company meetings, souvenir programs and playbills, two scrapbooks of clippings with reviews, photographs, an illustrated historical review of the theater, and memorabilia, including an original electric light bulb from Edison’s incandescent system.

Biographical / Historical

Opened in 1882 by George W. Tyler, the Boston Bijou was the first American theater equipped with an electrical lighting system. Benjamin Franklin Keith managed the theater from 1886 to 1894 where a new form of variety entertainment was presented, later known as vaudeville. Renamed the Bijou Opera House in 1901, the theater featured light opera until 1927, at which time it was converted into a moviehouse.

Arrangement

Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Financial records
  2. II. Administrative and other records

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2003MT-130. Gift of Mr. Russell Hastings, 35 Appleton Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; received: 1975 September 8.

General note

The majority of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Melanie Wisner

Title
Boston Bijou Theatre Company. Boston Bijou Theatre Company records, 1882-1927: Guide.
Author
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description
und
EAD ID
hou01579

Repository Details

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.

Contact:
Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440