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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 631

Mackey and Rollins vaudeville scrapbook


Scrapbook on careers of vaudeville entertainers J. Frank Mackey and Theresa Rollins, including material on other performers of the period.


  • 1898-1930

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.


1.5 linear feet (2 portfolio boxes)

Collection contains materials concerning American vaudeville and variety entertainment, including: advertisements, business cards, cabinet photographs, drawings, product catalogs, clippings, contracts, copyright documents, letters, blank letterheads, manuscript notes, photographs, playbills, photographic postcards, programs, tickets, and a tintype. Includes a large amount of items concerning the Mackey troupe, but also are about other performers for this period.

Biographical / Historical

Vaudeville was a type of variety theatrical entertainment in the United States and Canada from the late19th through the early 20th centuries. It was similar to modern musical comedy or the music-hall variety show. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, trained animals, magicians, female and male impersonators, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, and movies.

J. Frank Mackey was a vaudeville entertainer who worked in the United States and Canada, with various partners and performed under various names such as: Frank Mackey; J. F. Mackey; J. Frank Mackey; Mackey & Clark; Mackey and Clarke; Mackey & Rollins; Mackey's Comedy Players; Mackey Players; Mackey Amusement Enterprises; Mackey's Players; Mackey's Big Fun Show; Mackey's Indian Medicine Show; Mackey & Stewart's Comedy and Vaudeville Company; Mackey's Humanuva Company; Mackey's Original Humanuva Talking Pictures; Great Humanuva Talking Pictures; Quigg, and Mackey & Nickerson. Theresa Rollins was also a vaudeville entertainer who worked under a variety of names including: Tressa Rollins, and Mackey and Rollins. Mackey and Rollins were billed as a musical act, but Mackey also worked in blackface and marketed health products.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Scrapbook pages
  2. II. Loose materials
  3. ___A. Loose images
  4. ___B. Other loose items

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Physical Location



Item (18), the inside front cover of the scrapbook, includes an annotation: "Collection of J. Frank Mackey, old time showman. Property of George DeMott, Millville, Pa. I trouped for 3 seasons with the Mackey Players - G. D."

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Source is unknown.

Related Materials

J. Frank Mackey papers are also held by the Bancroft Library of the University of California, Berkeley.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

At time of processing in November of 2010, this scrapbook had already been disassembled and pages put into folders. The pages were left as found and were numbered consecutively.

Mackey and Rollins vaudeville scrapbook, 1898-1930: Guide.
Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
Language of description

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.

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