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Hambleton Theatrical collection

Identifier: MS 3099


This collection documents theater across the ages with a focus on Baltimore-area productions and playhouses. Primarily holds ephemera, such as playbills, tickets, and advertisements, from many important Baltimore theaters, as well as notes from an exhibit on theater history created from collection materials at the Peale Museum in Baltimore


  • 1790 - 1941

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Historical Note

The Hambleton Theatrical collection documents theater across the ages with a focus on Baltimore-area productions and playhouses. The material, originally held by the Peale Museum, appears to have been donated by T. Edward Hambleton, a prominent Broadway producer and avid theater-goer, who grew up in Baltimore (Md.). The Peale Museum used these items to build an exhibit on the history of theater from the late 1800’s to the 1940’s, especially in Baltimore. The notes of which are also a part of the collection.

The collection primarily holds ephemera, such as playbills, tickets, and advertisements, from many important Baltimore theaters. The materials included showcase the variety of productions staged in the city from elaborate productions at Ford’s Grand Opera House, amateur performances of the Paint and Powder Club, and events held at the Baltimore Stadium. A variety of plays were collected along with this material. Some contain notes from the actors or directors that may have performed them. Also included are lithographs and title pages from the plays adapted for performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London, England, published by John Bell. Bell printed multiple works meant for popular consumption on famous British poets, playwrights, and authors, including The Poets of Great Britain Complete from Chaucer to Churchill and The British Theatre series.


7.08 Linear Feet (17 boxes; 11 Oversize items)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

PP271, Hambleton Theatrical photograph collection, 1870-1935

Separated Materials

Note that photographs associated with this collection have been removed to PP271, the Hambleton Theatrical Photograph collection.

Scope and Contents

The collection is divided into series based on content. Series I-IA contains theater-related ephemera, such as programs, playbills, and schedules. The folders are organized alphabetically by theater, performance location, performance group, or production group. Within the folders, the materials are ordered chronologically when the origin date could be indentified. Items from this series too large to be housed in the boxes are noted as oversized. Series II is the exhibition material on theater in Baltimore (Md.) and abroad from the Peale Museum. The items, such as captions and notes, are grouped into folders based on content. Series III holds title pages and lithographs of plays and operas performed at the Theatre-Royal, Drury Lane in London, and are ordered by date and alphabetically by title. The lithograph is filed with the corresponding title page if available. Series IV-IVA includes copies of plays and manuscripts of plays are organized alphabetically by playwright and work title. Additional material was found and added to collection in 2015. These documents have been added to the end of the collection in Series IA and Series IVA.

Guide to the Hambleton Theatrical collection
Under Revision
Lara Westwood and Judith Hallfrisch
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-04-01: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States