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MS Thr 432

Boston Bijou Theatre Company. Boston Bijou Theatre Company records, 1882-1927: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository, Vault
Call No.: MS Thr 432
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Boston Bijou Theatre Company.
Title: Boston Bijou Theatre Company records,
Date(s): 1882-1927 (inclusive), 1882-1886 (bulk).
Quantity: 1 collection (3 linear feet (14 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection material is in English.
Abstract: Primarily financial records of the Boston Bijou Theatre Company, the first American theater equipped with an electrical lighting system.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2003MT-130. Gift of Mr. Russell Hastings, 35 Appleton Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; received: 1975 September 8.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Melanie Wisner

Conditions Governing Access:

The majority of collection is open for research. One item, the Edison light bulb, is restricted and requires the curator's permission to be seen.
Most of this collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Boston Bijou Theatre Company Records, 1882-1927 (MS Thr 432). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Opened in 1882 by George W. Tyler, the Boston Bijou was the first American theater equipped with an electrical lighting system. Benjamin Franklin Keith managed the theater from 1886 to 1894 where a new form of variety entertainment was presented, later known as vaudeville. Renamed the Bijou Opera House in 1901, the theater featured light opera until 1927, at which time it was converted into a moviehouse.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Chiefly financial records, including receipts for salaries and building expenses, cancelled checks, and account books. Also contains bylaws and minutes of the company meetings, souvenir programs and playbills, two scrapbooks of clippings with reviews, photographs, an illustrated historical review of the theater, and memorabilia, including an original electric light bulb from Edison's incandescent system.


The majority of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Container List