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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 629

Boston Museum Stock Company Kate Ryan Nolan collection of photographs


Cabinet photographs collected by Kate Ryan Nolan of the Boston Museum Stock Company.


  • 1876-1893 and undated

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

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.


1 linear feet (2 boxes)
Primarily cabinet photographs of Kate Ryan, James Nolan, George Wilson and other actors from the Boston Museum Stock Company. Some images are "in-character" and some are in street clothes. Also includes a few photographic prints. Some images were used as illustrations for Ryan's 1915 memoir, "Old Boston Museum Days."

Biographical / Historical

The Boston Museum Theatre was conceived by Moses Kimball, who purchased the old New England Museum. It was opened on June 14, 1841. The Boston Museum Stock Company gave its first performance on September 4, 1843, and thereafter remained one of the nation's finest ensembles. The Stock Company's favorite performers were William Warren, who first acted there in 1847, and Mary Ann Vincent, also known as Mrs. J. R. Vincent, but at one time or another in its long career many great artists of the era appeared, either as members of the troupe or as guest stars. The subterfuge of housing a theater in a museum was not uncommon, for it allowed many otherwise puritanical people to enjoy play-going. The theatre closed in 1893, the museum in 1903.

Kate Ryan Nolan (born 1857) was a Boston stage actress with the Boston Museum Stock Company. She married actor James Nolan in 1873. She wrote a memoir in 1915: "Old Boston Museum Days."


Arranged alphabetically by name of actor.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2006MT-219r. Source and date unknown.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Emilie L. Hardman
Link to catalog
Boston Museum Stock Company. Boston Museum Stock Company Kate Ryan Nolan collection of photographs, 1876-1893: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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