Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Glaser, Lulu, 1874-1958
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Lulu Glaser Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1821-1966 (mostly 1895-1917)
95 boxes and 56.6 linear feet
Storage Note:
Firestone Library (mss): Boxes 1-94; 41A; 41B


The Lulu Glaser Papers contains various artifacts, letters, photographs, and other items belonging to Lulu Glaser, a popular singer and actress during the early 1900s. Glaser broke into show business at age seventeen and quickly proceeded to become a leading star. After several years of extreme popularity, however, Lulu Glaser faded from the front stage, making her last stage appearance in 1917. For the remainder of her life, she lived on her Connecticut farm in a hermit-like seclusion.

Collection Description & Creator Information


Consists of various artifacts, letters, photographs, and other items belonging to Lulu Glaser, including production files and family papers.


Organized into the following series:

Each series contains a number of boxes relevant to that topic. Boxes 1-56 were organized first, while boxes 57-92 were added to the collection at later dates. The first 56 boxes are in alphabetical or chronological order under their respective topics. The additional 36 boxes are also in alphabetical or chronological order; but, although they may be under the same topic headings, they are ordered separately from the first 56 boxes.

Collection Creator Biography:

Glaser, Lulu, 1874-1958

Born June 2, 1874 in Sewickly, Pennsylvania, Lulu Glaser was an early fan of the theater. The singing lessons she took since early childhood paid off when she managed to convince her parents to allow her to audition for a role in the Francis Wilson Opera Company. Wilson himself took an immediate liking to her and admitted her into his chorus. After six months, as a result of a cold that the leading lady had caught, Lulu Glaser was called upon to take her place as the star in The Lion Tamer. The leading lady soon left the company, following Glaser's immediate success as her replacement, and Glaser proceeded to take over all of her roles, including those in The Merry Monarch and Erminie. By the 1895-96 season, Glaser was promoted to the role of prima donna of the company. She was featured in The Chieftain and Half a King.

In 1900 Glaser left Wilson's company to open the Lulu Glaser Opera Company where her first production, Sweet Anne Page, received lukewarm receptions. However, her second production, Dolly Varden, which opened the following year, was to be her biggest hit. For the next three years, Dolly Varden created a successful business on the road.

From 1904-1912, in addition to her first marriage and divorce with Ralph Herz, there was a succession of new operas, most directed by a variety of managers. None of them managed to attract even close to the amount of attention that Dolly Varden received. A Madcap Princess came first, followed by Miss Dolly Dollars, The Aero Club, Lola from Berlin, and The Merry Widow. Mlle. Mischief, under the management of the Shubert Brothers, followed and became Glaser's biggest success since Dolly Varden. The next two productions, The Girl from the States and The Girl and the Kaiser, also managed by the Shubert Brothers, however, were dismal failures, and her last comic opera in 1911, Miss Dudelsack, convinced her to withdraw from the theater scene.

For several years afterwards, Glaser performed short musical sketches with her second husband, Thomas Richards, from whom she later divorced. However, by 1917, she had stopped performing altogether and slipped away into quiet farm life to raise chickens in Connecticut. Lulu Glaser passed away on September 5, 1958, at the age of 84.

Collection History


All of Lulu Glaser's belongings were sent to her sister-in-law upon her death; when her sister-in-law passed away in 1981, Princeton University purchased the entire collection.

Additional material was transferred from the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library in 2010 .

Archival Appraisal Information:

No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Mary Ann Jensen, Janet Begnoche, Caterina Teuscher in 2001 and Joanna Polyn in 2002. Finding aid written by Mary Ann Jensen, Janet Begnoche, Caterina Teuscher in 2001 and Joanna Polyn in 2002.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Credit this material:

Lulu Glaser Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184