University of Texas, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Charles N. Mann:

An Inventory of His Manuscript for History of the Arch Street Theatre at the Harry Ransom Center



Creator: Mann, Charles N., 1839 or 1840-1912
Title: Charles N. Mann Manuscript for History of the Arch Street Theatre,
Dates: 1901-1904
Abstract: Charles N. Mann (1839 or 1840-1912) was an antiquarian who maintained a private theater library of books, playbills, programs, scrapbooks, and dramatic souvenirs in his Philadelphia home. The Charles N. Mann Manuscript for the History of the Arch Street Theatre, 1901-1904, consists of five bound manuscript volumes (Volumes II-VI) that provide a record of every performance at this Philadelphia theater from 30 August 1834 to 18 June 1869.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00214
Extent: 5 bound volumes (bv)
Language: English
Repository: The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

Biographical Sketch

Charles N. Mann (1839 or 1840-1912) was an antiquarian who maintained a private theater library of books, playbills, programs, scrapbooks, and dramatic souvenirs in his Philadelphia home. Trained as a lawyer, Mann worked in various civil service positions for the city of Philadelphia and state of Pennsylvania while he pursued his hobby of collecting books and theatrical memorabilia. His collection was sold at auction in New York City in 1907. Charles N. Mann died at his Philadelphia home on March 7, 1912. He was seventy-two years old.


Scope and Contents

The Charles N. Mann Manuscript for the History of the Arch Street Theatre, 1901-1904, consists of five bound manuscript volumes (Volumes II-VI) that provide a record of every performance at this Philadelphia theater from 30 August 1834 to 18 June 1869. The author, Charles N. Mann, lists in chronological order the date, title, and principal performers of each play presented, and also provides biographical sketches of actors, actresses, and playwrights, notes on critics’ reactions to the plays, and other information regarding the history of the Arch Street Theatre. Mann likely drew upon the primary source materials in his own collection to create this richly detailed chronicle of one of the United States’ oldest theaters.


Restrictions

Access:

Open for research


Index Terms

Subjects
Arch Street Theatre (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Theater--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--History--19th century.
Document Types
Manuscripts.

Related Material

Volume I., 1828-1834, of the Charles N. Mann Manuscript for the History of the Arch Street Theatre is part of The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Theatre Collection. The Performing Arts Collection at the Ransom Center contains other materials related to the Arch Street Theatre, including programs and playbills in the Playbills and Programs Collections, an illustration of the theater in the Prints Collection, prints and photographs in the Theater Buildings Collection, and clippings and tickets in the Theater Business Collection.


Administrative Information

Acquisition:

Acquired as part of the Messmore Kendall Collection in 1958.

Processed by:

Ancelyn Krivak, 2015


Sources:

"A Dramatic Antiquarian."The Times, October 9, 1884. Transcript of article in William H. Dorsey Scrapbook Collection, 250.36, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania Archives and Special Collections. Accessed May 5, 2015. https://www.princeton.edu/~davpro/documents/Max_docs/1884_Dorsey%20250.36.doc

"Obituary Notes."New York Times, March 8, 1912.

"Theatrical Library, $7000. Sale of historical playbills collected by Charles N. Mann."New York Times, April 27, 1907.


Container List

History of the Arch St. Theatre by Charles N. Mann, bound manuscript, 1901-1904

bv
1 Volume II, 1834-1845
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2 Volume III, 1845-1849
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3 Volume IV, 1849-1854
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4 Volume V, 1854-1861
bv
5 Volume VI, 1861-1869