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Boston Theatre and Opera House (Washington Street) Collection

 Collection — Container: MS Th. 2
Call Number: MS Th. 2

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the construction and design of the theatre building. Contracts, design proposals and drawings of the sites are included.


  • 1847-1855


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. In addition, we do not assert any additional restrictions on copies of items beyond those that might exist in the original.

As such, we cannot grant or deny permission to use copies of items held in our collections.

It is the sole responsibility of the user to make his or her own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law. Provision of a copy from the Boston Public Library should not be construed as explicit permission to use it for any particular reason.


If you are using a credit line, please use “Boston Public Library” with the collection or call number, if available.

Biographical or Historical Information

The Boston Theatre and Opera House, incorporated on May 20, 1853, was designed by architects Edward Clark and James Elliot Cabot of Brookline. The 3,000 seat venue opened on September 11, 1854. Sarah Bernhardt and Edwin Booth were among the actors who performed there and it was was also where Bostonians first heard Beethoven’s Fidelio in 1854 and Carmen in 1879.


26.00 Items

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

Arranged chronologically.

Related Materials

Federal Street Theatre, MS Th. 1

National Theatre, MS Th. 11

Tremont Theatre, MS Th. 4

Processing Information

Rare Books and Manuscripts Department staff.
Boston Theatre and Opera House (Washington Street) Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-06: Updated by Kimberly Reynolds, June 2020.

About this library

Part of the Boston Public Library Archives & Special Collections Repository

700 Boylston Street
Boston MA 02116 United States