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George A. Plimpton (AC 1876) Collection of Dramas

Identifier: MA.00379

Scope and Contents

4591 published plays representing a range of British and American nineteenth century and early 20th century popular theater, with additional plays from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Plays in series 1-8 are also described in the library catalog under the call number PN6111.P5.


  • Creation: 1605-1950
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1845-1942

Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes. Series 9 and 10 are stored off-site. Please contact Archives & Special Collections to arrange access.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish materials should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.


27 Linear feet

Language of Materials



A collection of 4591 published plays, largely from nineteenth and early twentieth century American and British popular theater.

History of the Papers and their Organization

These plays were given to Amherst College by George A. Plimpton, class of 1876. The plays in series 1-8 were donated around 1930. These plays were organized into categories and bound by the college library in 1933. The plays in series 9 and 10 were donated at a later time and were organized alphabetically by author and bound by the college library in 1949-1951 (series 9) and 1951-1958 (series 10). Some of the plays in series 10 may have come from other sources, including Ralph McGoun and the Amherst College Theater Department.

Related Materials

  1. Samuel French Play Collection (access using online catalog)
  2. Samuel French Company Theater Collection
  3. W. Clyde Fitch (AC 1886) Papers and personal library
  4. Amherst College Dramatic Activities Collection
  5. Augustin Daly manuscripts and promptbooks (access using online catalog)

Further Reading

For a contemporary account of Plimpton's first donation of plays in the early 1930s, see Curtis Canfield's article, "The Plimpton Collection of Plays" in Amherst Graduates' Quarterly, May 1932.

Processing Information

In 2019, the plays in series 9 and 10 were listed and added to the finding aid. These plays are listed in bibliographical citation format to facilitate future cataloging work.

Genre / Form


Tacia Díaz (AC 2019), Stephanie Calderón (AC 2021), Neha Wadia (AC 2013), Mariah Leavitt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299