Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University Library Collection of Blanche Pauli Materials
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1866-1932 (mostly 1890-1904)
4 boxes and 2.25 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-4


Blanche Pauli (born Virginia C. Taney) was an American singer, actress, and vaudeville performer who worked mainly in stock companies touring the northeastern United States and Canada from the late 1890s through 1904. The collection consists of personal and family correspondence and documents, photographs, play scripts and actor's sides, sheet music, playbills, clippings, and other materials related to her professional career. Some materials also relate to Pauli's husband, Herman Utley Boardman; her performance partner, Robson Dalton; and other members of her family.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Blanche Pauli, as she was known professionally, was a singer (billed as "The Female Baritone"), actress, and vaudevillian, active in the northeastern United States and Canada from the late 1890s through 1904. Pauli was born around 1870 in Brooklyn, New York, and christened Virginia C. Taney. Early in her theatrical career, she was a member of a chorus known as The Criterion Girls. While Pauli found occasional work in New York as a supporting actress, she found her leading roles primarily with stock companies, including a company called The Dominion Stock, that toured from Pennsylvania to Quebec. She played in melodramas, operettas, and vaudeville acts that were stock fare at the time. During those years she joined up with performer Robson Dalton to form the vaudeville team of "Robson and Pauli." Pauli stopped performing regularly in 1904 and married Herman Utley Boardman, the grandson of the owner of the house in New York City where she lived. She was afterward known as Mrs. Virginia Boardman.

This collection consists of Blanche Pauli's professional and family correspondence, photographs, play scripts and actor's sides, sheet music for vaudeville and minstrel show songs, playbills, personal and family memorabilia, and clippings. Some materials also relate to Pauli's husband, Herman Utley Boardman, and her performance partner, Robson Dalton. Headshots and photographs of Blanche Pauli and Robson Dalton in costume, datebooks documenting Pauli's travels, performance announcements and reviews, and other materials provide a glimpse into the life of a regional vaudeville performer at the turn of the century. Scripts, playbills, sheet music, and libretti also provide documentation of the songs and plays common among vaudeville and minstrel performers in the late 19th and early 20th century.


Materials are arranged by type.

Collection History


Additions were a gift of Reverend Daniel J. Gatti, S.J., in 2017 (AM 2018-38). No acquisition information is currently available for earlier accessions, though materials were likely acquired from multiple sources.


No materials were separated during 2017 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2002.

The finding aid was revised and updated by Kelly Bolding in November 2017, with assistance from Fiona Bell '18 and Julia English '19.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

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. 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.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Princeton University Library Collection of Blanche Pauli Materials; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-4