© 2008 University of Chicago Library
Uncle Tom's Cabin. Collection
2 linear feet (1 box)
Special Collections Research Center
Uncle Tom’s Cabin: or, Life Among the Lowly was an anti-slavery novel that profoundly affected American attitudes towards African Americans and slavery in the United States. The collection contains 23 documents, most of which are of British origin and describe or announce theatrical presentations of the tale.
Open for research. No restrictions.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Uncle Tom's Cabin. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Uncle Tom’s Cabin: or, Life Among the Lowly was an anti-slavery novel that profoundly affected American attitudes towards African Americans and slavery in the United States. The best-selling novel of the 19th century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin is credited both with galvanizing Northern support for the Civil War and with creating a number of durable stereotypes about blacks. Major themes of this sentimental novel are the fundamental incommensurability of slavery and Christianity, the abiding power of Christian love, and the moral power and sanctity of women.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin generated great interest in England. Vendors sold 200,000 copies in 1852, its debut year. Critics generally agree that this fascination with the tale stemmed from British antipathy to America. Brits did not necessarily harbor their own national hatred of slavery, but felt vindicated by the play’s criticism of Americans’ self-professed freedoms.
The collection contains promptbooks, playbills, posters, programs and other pictorial or printed ephemera, most of which are of British origin and describe or announce theatrical presentations of the tale. The announcements of presentations typically contain specific information about actors, scenes, and the venue. Most of the other documents are critical reviews of performances of various adaptations of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Although the documents span the dates 1852 to 1956, most date from the mid to late 19th century.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
|Box 1 Folder 1|
Astley’s Royal Ampitheatre Broadside for "The Entirely New Equestrian Drama of Uncle Toms Cabin," Monday Nov. 22nd, 1852
|Box 1 Folder 2|
Heavily annotated copy of : Aiken, George. Uncle Tom’s Cabin. No. 342 of the Dick’s Standard Plays Series London: J. Dicks, 1853
|Box 1 Folder 3|
Cut- out Color Illustration showing different scenes of a young lady and a gentleman with a banjo. No title, no date.
|Box 1 Folder 4|
Broadside fragment, [Penny Dreadful], 1850s?
|Box 1 Folder 5|
Clipping: "Scene from the New Drama of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ at the Olympic Theatre’," 2.10.52
|Box 1 Folder 6|
Broadside for Uncle Tom’s Cabin at the Royal Olympic Theatre, Monday, Nov. 8th and During the Week (no year given)
|Box 1 Folder 7|
Two Programs for "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" at the Royal Adelphi Theatre, Saturday, February 20th (no year given)
|Box 1 Folder 8|
Broadside for the Theatre-Royal, Glasgow, Sat. March 11 and a program from The Institute, Eastleigh, Thursday Dec. 1, 1898.
|Box 1 Folder 9|
Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Adapted from Mrs. Beecher Stowe’s Celebrated Novel. London: Thomas Hailes Lacy, . Script is heavily annotated.
|Box 1 Folder 10|
Broadside from the Theatre-Royal, Glasgow for Tuesday, March 14, 1854
|Box 1 Folder 11|
Broadside for New City of London Theatre, Norton Folgate, Saturday May 28th, 1859
|Box 1 Folder 12|
Theatre Guild Magazine, January 1931
|Box 1 Folder 13|
Broadside for Theatre-Royal, Dunlop St., Glasgow, Sat. March 18, 1854
|Box 1 Folder 14|
Broadside for the Royal Grecian Theatre, December 1860
|Box 1 Folder 15|
The Amateur Book Collector. Vol 1. No. 10, June 1951
|Box 1 Folder 16|
"A Link With ‘Uncle Tom’: Negro Controversy in Canadian Town." Clipping from Times Past The Times. Friday May 11, 1956
|Box 1 Folder 17|
Clipping from a "Programme" for the Folkstone Pleasure Gardens Theatre, Monday, June 5th 1893
|Box 1 Folder 18|
Broadside for the Theatre-Royal, Glasgow, Thursday March 16, 1854
|Box 1 Folder 19|
Program for the Princess Theatre, London, Aug. 31, 1878
|Box 1 Folder 20|
Program for the Royal Aquarium Theatre, Mon. Sept. 2, 1878
|Box 1 Folder 21|
Program for A Musical Version of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Richmond Theatre, Sept. 28, 1925
|Box 1 Folder 22|
Program for Her Majesty’s Theatre, 
|Box 1 Folder 23|
Three Programmes for the Picturedrome, Camborne dated March 13, 20, & 30