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Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections
  • Indexing Terms
  • Access
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Creator: Bertram, Arthur, 1860-1955
    Title: Arthur Bertram Papers,
    Date: 1889-1962
    Date (bulk): (1900-1924 bulk)
    Extent: 2.1 linear feet
    Abstract: From the 1890s to the mid 1920s, Arthur Bertram served as a theatrical manager in England for a number of different theaters and actors. His papers, which include letters, financial documents, scripts, photographs and ephemera, document the process of theater productions from start to finish.
    Physical Location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored off site.
    Repository: University of California, Davis. General Library. Department of Special Collections.
    100 North West Quad
    Davis, California 95616-5292
    Collection number: D-134
    Language of Material: Collection materials in English


    Born in England on March 24, 1868, Arthur Bertram's career began at the age of twelve with his appearance on stage in Horns. Bertram was also a boy bugler in the Second Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, but at the age of seventeen, after being made corporal, he quit the regiment. In 1887 he played a small role in Hunt the Slipper, but by 1888 had been engaged by F.A. Barnes as an acting manager for a tour of A Sailor's Fortune. Following this engagement, it appears that Bertram spent the rest of his career offstage.
    Beginning in 1888, Bertram spent more than thirty years serving as an acting manager to a number of actors and actresses in England, including Mrs. Patrick Campbell, Marie Tempest, John Hare, Comyns Carr and Henry Irving. In 1892, Bertram began work as an advance agent for theater companies including the Burns-Crotty Opera Company and the Garrick Theatre. He gradually worked his way up the ladder, and in 1897 he had his own season at the Strand Theatre. As a business manager for theatrical artists, Bertram was responsible for many activities including, engaging theaters, actors and playwrights, as well as promoting the production and making sure the bills and salaries were paid. His behind the scenes work allowed the actors to continue in their profession and gain notoriety. He was managing Mrs. Patrick Campbell and arranged her American tour of Magda during 1901 to 1902. From 1914 to 1919, he was the business manager for Henry Irving at the Savoy Theatre. Upon Irving's death in 1919, Bertram represented his estate until 1924.
    Bertram retired from management by 1927 and died in 1955 at the age of 95.
    Autobiography, Arthur Bertram Papers, D-134.
    Donohue, Joseph Jr. The Theatrical Manager in England and America. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1971.
    Parker, John. Who's Who in Theatre 1922. England: Boston, Small, Maynard and Co., 1922.
    Powell, Kerry. The Cambridge Companion to Victorian and Edwardian Theatre. United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2004.

    Scope and Content

    The Arthur Bertram Papers span the years 1889 to 1962 with the bulk of the papers made up of material dating between 1900 and 1924. The papers are arranged in seven series: 1. Biographical Information, 2. Correspondence, 3. Financial Records, 4. Scripts, 5. Clippings, 6. Ephemera, and 7. Photographs. The materials demonstrate how the theater production process worked--from obtaining a script and securing a theater, to hiring actors and actresses and purchasing supplies, to reading the reviews after opening night. Evidence of these activities is found in correspondence with playwrights and theater managers, the signed contracts of actors and actresses, scripts, programs and clippings of reviews. Highlights of the collection include an autograph album and letters from actors and actresses such as Henry Irving and Marie Tempest. Scripts include a version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. The papers focus entirely on Bertram's activities in the theater.

    Related Collections

    Other materials related to the Arthur Bertram Papers may be found in the following collections at Special Collections:
    D-184 Martin-Harvey, Sir John Collection: This collection of photographs, correspondence, and typescripts highlights the career of Sir John Martin-Harvey an English actor-manager and member of Henry Irving's company at the Lyceum. In 1899, Martin-Harvey began management of the Lyceum.
    D-204 Tree, Herbert Beerbohm Papers: This collection of programs, photographs, correspondence, and other documents focuses on the works of Herbert Beerbohm Tree an English actor-manager from the early twentieth century. Under Tree's direction, Her Majesty's Theatre became the main supporter of Shakespeare productions from 1900 to 1914.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Bertram, Arthur, 1860-1955--Archives.
    Campbell, Patrick, Mrs., 1865-1940.
    Hare, John, 1844-1921.
    Irving, H. B. (Henry Brodribb), 1870-1919.
    Tempest, Marie, 1866-1942.
    Savoy Theatre (London, England).
    Performing Arts.
    Theater--England--History--20th century.
    Theater management--England--20th century.


    Collection is open for research under regular Reading Room rules and copyright restrictions.

    Acquisition Information

    The Library obtained this collection in March 1983 from Barbara Cavanagh at Motley Books Limited in England.

    Processing Information

    Special Collections intern, Annie Rapaport arranged this collection and created its finding aid under the direction of University Archivist, John Skarstad, and Manuscript Curator, Melissa Tyler, who encoded the finding aid.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Arthur Bertram Papers, D-134, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17, of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Department of Special Collections, University of California, Library, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.