Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
American Minstrel Show Collection
Rare Book Division
Permanent URL:
1854-1943 (mostly 1850-1929)
5 boxes, 26 items, and 1.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scaex): Box 1-5


The bulk of the American Minstrel Show Collection consists of advertisement material promoting minstrel performances from the 1850s through the 1920s. The collection includes broadsheets, posters, newspaper clippings and programs, as well as pictures and photographs of minstrel show performers. In addition, a small portion of the collection contains sheet music and song and joke books.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This small collection contains two boxes of folders arranged alphabetically by minstrel troupe name. Included in these folders are programs and smaller advertisements of the companies' performances arranged in chronological order. A third box contains song and joke books, sheet music and other miscellaneous minstrel show materials. One oversize box contains bigger advertisements and posters, also arranged by troupe name. In addition, the collection includes a folder of oversized posters.


Arranged alphabetically by name of company.

Collection History


This collection was formed as a result of a Departmental practice of combining into one collection material of various accessions relating to a particular person, family, or subject. Materials have been acquired through multiple sources.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Hanna Glomska and Janet Begnoche in 2001. Finding aid written by Hanna Glomska and Janet Begnoche in 2001.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing 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. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Associate University Librarian for Special Collections. 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:

American Minstrel Show Collection; Rare Book Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scaex): Box 1-5