Patrick Finelli of the University of South Florida recently posted this report about the Dion Boucicault Theatre Collection at USF:
“This is an update on the Dion Boucicault Theatre Collection, the largest single repository of Boucicault manuscripts and materials in the world. Twelve years ago the late Barry Russell and other scholars helped us obtain funding to process 29 boxes of manuscripts, prompt books, notes, drawings and letters that the University of South Florida acquired from the estate of his widow. My colleague Matt Knight, special collections librarian, is preparing materials for an online exhibit of the following hitherto unpublished plays: Cuishla Machree; Suilamor, or, Life in Galway; Janet Pride; Jeanie Deans; Vanity Fair; The Parish Clerk; Lost at Sea; Vice-Versa; A Man of Honour; Marriage; Contempt of Court; Rescued; Phryne; Ourselves; The Grass Widow; and Fin Mac Cool. Restructured and updated versions of the following plays and their prompt books will also be included in the online collection: The Colleen Bawn, Arrah-na-Pogue, The Shaughraun, The Amadan, The Rapparee, Belle Lamar, Pauline, Hunted Down, The Long Strike, and Robert Emmet. I believe there is also a play titled The Vampire in manuscript form. Matt and his research assistant are engaged in transcription, editing, and digitization of materials. Boucicault’s dramas have been given a new lease on life with the publication of Deirdre McFeely’s excellent new study, Dion Boucicault: Irish Identity on Stage, and through other recent scholarly articles; however, these works do not discuss the majority of Boucicault material found in USF’s collection, nor do they take into account updated versions of the plays that are generally available. Further, many of the plays discussed in depth in modern scholarship are not readily available to the average reader. The last published collection of Dion Boucicault’s Irish drama was The Dolmen Boucicault, appearing in 1964, and it included only three plays. Since that time, Plays by Dion Boucicault was released in 1984, featuring five plays, and the Selected Plays of Dion Boucicault, containing six plays, two of them also in the aforementioned volume was released in 1987. In short, scholars who have examined Boucicault’s plays in depth have only had The Dolmen Boucicault and slim anthologized versions to consult without having to rely on archival copies or microform editions of play scripts. USF’s substantial Boucicault collection is therefore invaluable, not only for filling gaps in the canon, but also for understanding 19th-century English-language theatre; contemporaneous social issues facing Britain, Ireland and the United States; and Victorian popular culture. The potential academic readership for The Dion Boucicault Online Theatre Collection will include those interested in the fields of 19th-century drama, English literature, American theatre and culture, Irish studies, Victorian studies, and popular culture. Further, as Boucicault’s Irish plays have enjoyed a revival on the stage in the last two decades, a collection of updated texts and new editions will extend the possibilities for more theatrical productions in the future. Also, given the cultural, social, and political material found in these dramatic works, a general reader will have much to appreciate in this online exhibition. In short, this project will appeal to the academic specialist, graduate and undergraduate students across disciplines, theatre directors and actors, and the general public. If you are interested in this collection for research or scholarship (faculty, independent scholar or graduate student), contact: Patrick Finelli, Ph.D. Professor School of Theatre and Dance University of South Florida”
There are 59 references to Boucicault’s work in The London Stage between the years 1890 and 1943 (see the accumulated indexes volume for details).