University of Pennsylvania Finding Aids

Navigation Aids

University of Pennsylvania Finding Aids
Search Finding Aids

Main Content

Bartholomew family theatrical scrapbooks

Ms. Coll. 1029

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Apt Bartholomew, Sallie, 1863-1934
Bartholomew, Ethel, 1889-
Bartholomew, William H., 1832-
Bartholomew family theatrical scrapbooks
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1029
0.6 linear feet (2 boxes)
The Bartholomew family scrapbook collection consists of five volumes compiled by Ethel C. Bartholomew (born 1889), William H. Bartholomew (born 1832), and Sallie Apt Bartholomew (1863-1934). These scrapbooks document the theatrical careers of the Bartholomews from the early 1870s to the late 1940s and include photographs of the Bartholomew family and unnamed people, notices and reviews of performances, newspaper clippings, correspondence, and notes.
Cite as:
Bartholomew family theatrical scrapbooks, 1852-1948, Ms. Coll. 1029, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

Return to Top »


William H. Bartholomew (born 1832) and Sallie Apt Bartholomew (1863-1934) were actors based in Philadelphia. They were the parents of Ethel C. Bartholomew (born 1889) who was an actress. William H. Bartholomew appeared under the stage name "W.H. Allen" from 1852 until 1856 or 1858, and it appears that he retired to the Edwin Forrest Home.

The Edwin Forrest Home was founded in 1873 using funds from the will of Edwin Forrest (1806-1872), a prominent Philadelphia actor in the nineteenth century. Having left no heirs, Forrest devised a plan to use his fortune to build the Edwin Forrest Home as a retirement facility for elderly actors. Extensive acting experience and an impressive résumé were requirements for admission. In his will he wrote, "I would make my fortune the means to elevate the education of others and promote their success, and to alleviate their sufferings and smooth the pillows of the unfortunate, in sickness or other disability, or the decay of declining years.” The institution operated in a few different locations in the Philadelphia area until 1986, when it merged with the Actor's Fund retirement home in New Jersey due to financial difficulties.

Works Cited Historical Society of Pennsylvania. "The will of Edwin Forrest" dated 1872. Edwin Forest Home Records, collection 3068, box 27, folder 1.

Scope and Contents

The Bartholomew family scrapbook collection consists of five volumes compiled by the Bartholomew family between 1872 and 1948. The scrapbooks contain photographs of the Bartholomew family and unnamed people (who may also be the Bartholomews); notices and reviews of the Bartholomew family members' performances; newspaper clippings related to the Bartholomews, the Edwin Forrest Home, and the theater in general; correspondence to and from the Bartholomew family members, including funeral bills; and handwritten annotations.

The first scrapbook is mostly empty, but on the first few pages are pasted notices and reviews of Sallie Apt Bartholomew's performances. The donor suggests Sallie Apt Bartholomew as the compiler of this scrapbook. Miscellaneous inserts that were not pasted in have been removed and filed in Box 1 Folder 2 for purposes of preservation.

The donor has attributed the second and third scrapbooks to Ethel Bartholomew. These scrapbooks have been removed from their acidic binding for preservation purposes, but the order of the pages was maintained. Scrapbook II consists mainly of publicity photographs of an unnamed actress, most likely Ethel Bartholomew's mother, Sallie Apt (Sallie Apt Bartholomew). There are also a few photographs of an unidentified man, possibly William H. Bartholomew. Other material relates to the Edwin Forrest home, a residence for retired actors.

Scrapbook III contains a number of playbills from the Walnut Street and Chestnut Street Theaters (Philadelphia) in the 1910s and 1920s, including a production of "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm" with Ethel Bartholomew in a minor role. The scrapbook also includes assorted correspondence including bills for the funerals of Sarah A. Apt (1892 February 12), Lewis H. Apt (1919 December 19), and Sallie Apt Bartholomew (1932 August 13). Sarah A. Apt and Lewis H. Apt are presumed to be Sallie Apt Bartholomew's parents.

The fourth and fifth scrapbooks are signed by William H. Bartholomew and were probably compiled by him or his wife, Sallie Apt, but it is impossible to determine this absolutely from the existing materials. Scrapbook IV includes theatrical clippings, such as notices and reviews of the productions of Moffitt and Bartholomew's pantomime troupe. Much of the scrapbook is filled with miscellany (including poems and anecdotes) and items of general theatrical interest (such as reminiscences of Edwin Booth). On the inside front cover is the description "Present from...December 25, 18??" The name appears to have been deliberately erased, and the erasure obscures the date as well. Several pages have been defaced by scissor cuts. Inserts that were not pasted in were removed and filed in Box 1 Folder 18 for purposes of preservation.

The final scrapbook consists of assorted playbills and clippings, most of which are connected to William H. Bartholomew's stage career. Later clippings concern his retirement at the Edwin Forrest Home, Philadelphia. On the cover is the handwritten inscription "W.H. Bartholomew's Scrap-Book Dec 6th 1852-190? (obscured). To my much esteemed Friend Mr. James McCleese." Detached pieces were removed and filed in Box 2 Folder 2 for preservation.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2014 September 17

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Molly B. Hutt

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Custodial History note

Gift of St. Elizabeth's Church, Philadelphia, 1980.

Return to Top »

Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

At the Historical Society of Pennsylvania: Edwin Forrest Home Records

Return to Top »

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Edwin Forrest Home
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Photographs
  • Playbills
  • Scrapbooks
  • Actors
  • Theater
  • Theater--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--19th century
  • Theater--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia--20th century
  • Women in the theater

Return to Top »

Collection Inventory

Scrapbook I, probably created by Sallie Apt, 1872-1874.

Box Folder

Scrapbook, undated.

1 1

Removed items, 1898-1899, 1912, undated.

1 2

Scrapbook II, probably created by Ethel Bartholomew.

Box Folder

Pages 1-2, receipts and other documents from funerals of Sarah A. Apt and Lewis H. Apt, 1892, 1919.

1 3

Pages 3-4, payment and receipt from Olive H. Bair Funeral Directors for funeral of Sallie Apt Bartholomew, 1932.

1 4

Pages 5-6, Walnut Theatre Players Magazine, 1915 September 27.

1 5

Pages 7-9, Bartholomew's National System of Industrial Drawing instructional booklet, newspaper clipping of portrait of unidentified man, and program for William Shakespeare's birthday celebration at Edwin Forrest Home, 1907 April 23, undated.

1 6

Pages 10-12, correspondence to and from Ethel Bartholomew with Rose & Caroline Songstadter and Mr. E.F. Pershing, 1915, undated.

1 7

Page 13, photograph of Sallie Apt and unidentified man, undated.

1 8

Pages 14-16, correspondence to and from W.H. Bartholomew and multiple interlocutors, 1903, undated.

1 9

Pages 18-24, photo souvenir from Wieting Opera House in Syracuse, New York with photograph of Mr. Albert Sackett, The Orpheum News and Program, and  Walnut Theatre Players Magazine, 1912, 1914-1915.

1 10

Pages 25-26, letter to Sallie Apt from Geo J. Deagle, postcards to Ethel Bartholomew (authors unknown), and memorial card for Sarah A. Apt, 1872, 1892, 1948.

1 11

Pages 27-30, envelopes addressed to William H. Bartholomew, fabric program page from Devil's Auction, and photographs of Ethel Bartholomew and unidentified woman (possibly Sallie Apt or Ethel Bartholomew), 1883, undated.

1 12

Pages 31-33, photographs of Sallie Apt, Ethel Bartholomew, and unidentified man; and postcard to Ethel Bartholomew from "Edith", 1947, undated.

1 13

Scrapbook III, probably created by Ethel Bartholomew.

Box Folder

Pages 1-6, photographs of Sallie Apt and unidentified man, undated.

1 14

Pages 8-12, photographs of Sallie Apt and unidentified man, undated.

1 15

Pages 13-17, photographs of Sallie Apt and Ethel Bartholomew, and documents from the Edwin Forrest home, 1902, 1915, 1923, undated.

1 16

Scrapbook IV, probably created by William H. Bartholomew, 1878-1901.

Box Folder

Scrapbook, undated.

1 17

Removed items, 1874, 1899, 1903, undated.

1 18

Removed items (oversized), 1859, 1901.


Scrapbook V, created by William H. Bartholomew.

Box Folder

Scrapbook, 1852-1916.

2 1

Removed items, 1914, 1916, undated.

2 2