Contents and Arrangement

The Secret Enemy, undated

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information


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.

Collection History

Archival Appraisal Information:

No materials were separated during 2017 processing.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

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:

The Secret Enemy; Princeton University Library Collection of Blanche Pauli Materials, TC054, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 3