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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 1786

George Holland papers


Papers of English American stage actor, George Holland, including correspondence, an autobiography, playbills, and contracts.


  • circa 1817-1869


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


.33 linear feet (2 boxes)

Collection ranges from the 1820s through the 1860s and contains over 100 letters from leading actors and theatrical managers to George Holland; theatrical broadsides and programs, most featuring Holland; Holland's manuscript autobiographical reminiscences, memos to himself, original song lyrics, theatrical contracts, and a color drawing of his wife. Correspondents include J. W. Wallack, Augustin Daly, William Winter, Lester Wallack, John Brougham, and Sol Smith.

Biographical / Historical

George Holland was an actor first in his native England, beginning in 1817; in 1827, at the invitation of Junius Brutus Booth, he immigrated to America and acted at the Bowery Theatre in New York and in cities across the country. He was a leading member of the company at Wallack's Theatre during the 1850s and 1860s and later at Augustin Daly's Fifth Avenue Theatre in New York. He died in December 1870, and his funeral became a rallying point for the theatrical profession after the Church of the Atonement refused to host his funeral services. Joseph Jefferson and Mark Twain were among those who protested, and his funeral was held at the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration on East 29th Street.


Minimally processed; arranged in rough series.

Physical Location

b, ppf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2018MT-120. Purchased from Michael A. Morrison with funds from the Robert Gould Shaw Fund, 2018 March 2.

Processing Information

Processed by Melanie Wisner, 2018 April.


Holland, George, 1791-1870. George Holland papers, circa 1817-1869 (MS Thr 1786): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2018 April 20
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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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