The Robert Cushman Butler digital collection includes 1397 scanned theatrical illustrations and popular American music. There are numerous engravings and lithographs of the Booth family of actors including Edwin, John Wilkes and Junius Brutus Booth. Robert Cushman Butler assembled this collection of ephemera relating chiefly to eighteenth and nineteenth century British and American theater. A cousin of the famed actress Charlotte Cushman, he collected theatrical illustrations, manuscripts, and books, apparently with the intention of binding published theatrical material from his personal collection into new, or "extra-illustrated" editions of theatrical books. Although Butler completed two volumes in this fashion, there exist about seven others that needed only certain illustrations before being sent to the binder. For this reason, the bulk of Butler’s collection consists of engravings, lithographs, and a few photographs of theatrical performers.
Please be aware that some items in this collection include racially offensive language and images.
Searching the Collection
Entering search terms in the "Search" box located at the top of the page will search across all of the database fields. The "Browse This Collection" link will display all items in an alphabetical order. Search results are displayed as a series of thumbnail images that may be browsed, both forward and backward. To view an item description, double click on the thumbnail or the textual link. Any highlighted text in the description below each full-size image is searchable; just click. Options to return to the Collection Home or the WSU Digital Collections are provided along the top banner.
Creating the Database
Several WSU students – Duncan Shea, Margaret Seibel, and Nicole Reitman – created the metadata and scanned the original items as 300 dpi TIFF files on a Microteck 9600XL scanner. 72 dpi JPEG files were then added to the CONTENTdm database at the WSU Libraries. Trevor James Bond directed the project. Alex Merrill provided technical support for CONTENTdm. Trevor James Bond and Mark O'English created this page; Jeff Kuure designed the page's banner.