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Uncle Tom's Cabin:

A Preliminary Inventory of the Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Uncle Tom's Cabin
Title: Uncle Tom’s Cabin Collection
Dates: 1825-1946
Extent: 6 document boxes (2.52 linear feet), 8 oversize folders (osf)
Abstract: The bulk of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin collection consists of photographs, playbills, and programs documenting the earliest productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (notably the premiere of George C. Howard’s 1852 acting version), and the stage personalities associated with the play, in particular George L. Fox, Charles K. Fox, Cordelia Howard, and Lotta Crabtree.
Call Number: Performing Arts Collection PA-00122
Language: English and German
Access: Open for research



Acquisition: Purchase, 1956 (Albert Davis Collection)
Processed by: Helen Baer, 1999; Valerie Burns, 2002; Eric Colleary and Grace Hansen, 2015
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


During the 19th century, Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling book after the Bible. Due to the lack of copyright laws, numerous unauthorized stage adaptations were produced. Several scholars have suggested that significantly more people came to know of Uncle Tom’s Cabin from the stage than from reading the book. The first and most popular adaptation was written by George Aiken for George C. Howard’s touring company in which Aiken also acted.
The bulk of the Uncle Tom’s Cabin Collection consists of photographs, playbills, and programs documenting the earliest productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (notably the premiere of George C. Howard’s 1852 acting version), and the stage personalities associated with the play, in particular George L. Fox, Charles K. Fox, Cordelia Howard, and Lotta Crabtree. Also present are clippings, correspondence, prints, posters, published acting editions, sheet music, and a songster. The collection is divided into two series: I. Photographs, and II. Other Materials, with materials arranged alphabetically or by format. .

Additional information regarding stage productions of Uncle Tom’s Cabin can be found in the papers of George C. Howard and Family. Programs relating to a WPA Theatre production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin can be found in the papers of James Purdy. Various printed editions of the book, scripts, and derivative works can be found in the Ransom Center’s book holdings which are searchable through the online catalogue