Scope and Contents
The Aldridge Collection consists of materials relating to 19th century African-American tragedian Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807-1867) and his children, mainly his daughter Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge (known as Amanda Ira Aldridge, who composed under the pseudonym Montague Ring; 1866-1956). Materials related to Ira Aldridge include transcriptions of letters, honors and citations, copies of legal documents, newspaper clippings, and photographic engravings or reproductions. Amanda Ira Aldridge materials include correspondence, musical manuscripts and scores, and an autobiographical statement. This collection also contains articles about Ira Aldridge and his theatrical career by Edward Scobie (born Vivian Edward George Dalrymple) and Owen Mortimer. Additional materials on Aldridge and 19th century theatre which were received include a portrait of Aldridge in the role of Mungo and a bust by Pietro Calvi (1833-1844): "Bust of Othello: the Moor of Venice."
- Majority of material found within 1846 - 1959
- Scobie, Edward (Person)
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright for materials resides with the literary executors of individual letters and documents. All users must comply with federal copyright regulations.
Ira Frederick Aldridge was born in New York City on July 24, 1807, to Reverend Daniel and Luranah Aldridge. He received his education at New York's African Free School and the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Although he performed in amateur productions in New York, his performance did not receive notice until he debuted as the first black actor at Royal Coburg Theatre, London on October 10, 1825 in the role of Prince Oroonoko of Africa. He toured in the British Isles and the European continent, receiving special acclaim in Poland and Russia; one of his most frequent roles was Othello. In 1825 Aldridge married Margaret Gill of England; after her death in 1864 he married Countess Amanda von Brandt of Sweden. His grown children included Ira Daniel Aldridge, teacher of languages; Ira Frederick Olaff Aldridge, musician and composer; Irene Luranah Pauline Aldridge, opera singer; and Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge, known as Amanda Ira Aldridge (1866-1956), teacher and composer under the name of Montague Ring. Aldridge became a naturalized British subject in 1863. He died August 7, 1867 while on a theatrical tour of Poland, and was buried in Lodz, Poland on August 9, 1867.
8 Linear Feet (6 boxes, 1 half-file box, 1 oversize flat box, 1 oversize folder)
The Aldridge Collection consists of materials relating to 19th century African-American tragedian Ira Frederick Aldridge (1807-1867) and his children, mainly his daughter Amanda Christina Elizabeth Aldridge (known as Amanda Ira Aldridge, who composed under the pseudonym Montague Ring; 1866-1956). Included in the collection are correspondence, photographs and engravings, newspaper clippings, musical manuscripts and scores, personal and legal documents, articles, memorabilia, two portraits and a sculpture.
The Aldridge Collection is organized into 6 series: Ira Aldridge materials (1817-1962, 1993-2012); Materials on Slavery (1806-1846, 1952-1963); Amanda Aldridge materials (1869-1956); Correspondence (1888-1991); Owen Mortimer materials (1949-2017); Artifacts (circa 1825-1870s, 2000).
Most of the original Aldridge materials were received from Edward Scobie. Photocopies of documents, articles, and correspondence were gifts of Aldridge scholars Owen Mortimer or Bernth Lindfors. Additional materials on Aldridge and 19th century theatre were acquired from Bernth Lindfors in 2017.
Processed by Sigrid Pohl Perry in September 1982; revised in February 1993, January 1999, September 2001, April 2004, January 2018; encoded version revised in March 2006; February 2010; February 2013; January 2018; August 2021.
- Guide to the Aldridge Collection
- Finding Aid Authors: Sigrid Pohl Perry.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US