University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Theatrical Portraits and Illustrations Collection 1740-1901

© 2014 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Theatrical Portraits and Illustrations. Collection



Manuscript Number:

Codex Ms1413


3 linear feet (3 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The collection, Codex MS 1413, was originally three volumes of mounted images. The first two volumes contain portraits of actors, actresses, and dramatists from the British and American stage. The third volume contains illustrations of theatre architecture, monuments, scenes from plays, and the homes of actors and dramatists, and theatrical ephemera. The images date from 1740 to 1901, though most are from the late 18th century.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Theatrical Portraits and Illustrations. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

This collection was transferred from the Rare Books Collection.

Scope Note

The collection was originally cataloged as Codex MS 1413. The collection contains two volumes of portraits, followed by a volume of illustrations.

The mounted portraits are of actors, actresses, and dramatists from the British and American stage, arranged alphabetically by name. In some cases, information such as artist, date, and publisher responsible for the individual image is included. Most of the images are engravings taken from photographs, drawings, and paintings.

Of particular interest are portraits and photographs of the American actor Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905) both in costume and at home, and several portraits of the English actor and theatre manager, David Garrick (1717-1779). There are a number of portraits by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) and Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830).

The mounted illustrations are connected to theatrical life in the 18th and 19th centuries. These include drawing and engravings of theatre architecture, monuments, scenes from plays, and the homes of actors and dramatists. Series II also includes a small amount of mounted theatrical ephemera including tickets, newspaper clippings, scores, and production posters. The collection highlights the homes and theatres of, and monuments to, David Garrick (1717-1779).

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:


Fred W. Atkinson. Drama Collection

Chicago Drama Performances. Index

Playbill and Program. Collection

Subject Headings


Box 1    Folder 1

Abington – Bellamy, circa 1780-1817

Box 1    Folder 2

Berry – Burke, circa 1794-1895

Box 1    Folder 3

Burton – Cooke, circa 1740-1833

Box 1    Folder 4

Cooke – Dryden, circa 1791-1880

Box 1    Folder 5

Duff – Forest, circa 1776-1880

Box 1    Folder 6

Forest – Incledon, circa 1740-1826

Box 1    Folder 7

Jefferson – Jordan, circa 1796-1901

Box 2   Folder 1

Kean – Macready, circa 1775-1894

Box 2   Folder 2

Macready – Philips, circa 1776-1836

Box 2   Folder 3

Placide – Shakespeare, circa 1777-1880

Box 2   Folder 4

Sheridan – Thrale, circa 1776-1881

Box 2   Folder 5

Toole – Younge, circa 1776-1839

Box 3:   Folder 1

Illustrations - Theater Architecture, circa 1774-1850

Box 3:   Folder 2

Illustrations – Monuments, circa 1760-1900

Box 3:   Folder 3

Illustrations - Scenes from Theatre Productions, circa 1794-1848

Box 3:   Folder 4

Illustrations - Residences of Theater Persons, circa 1747-1900

Box 3:   Folder 5

Illustrations - Theatrical Ephemera, circa 1750-1872