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Charlatans and H.C. Theater Collection

Identifier: yhm-arc-0000-027

Content Description

Programs from theater productions by the Charlatans. -- most programs date to the early 1900s; some spoof playbills date to the mid-1800s. Also materials through 1979, and a history of the Charlatans.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1909-1975


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The Charlatans, also known as The Hamilton College Charlatans or the The Charlatans of Hamilton College, were a dramatic club founded in 1907. They were the primary source of theater at Hamilton College until the theater major was introduced in 1968.

Inclusive to any interested student, provided they contributed 15 hours of service benefitting the Charlatans, the group was more inclusive than the fraternities on campus, aiding their popularity.

In 1919, the Charlatans formalized a structure mimicking a traditional theater troupe and started producing student-written work. Wells College women and wives of faculty were often recruited for female parts, though men in drag were still commonly used for comedic purposes.

By 1968, with the introduction of the theater major at Kirkland College and the Alexander Hamilton Players, the Charlatans no longer provided a unique service to Hamilton College, contributing to the end of the group. The Charlatans dissolved in 1975.

(citation: "The Charlatans: Real troupers for most of Hill's second century," The Hill in History, 2012; copy located in Box 1, File 3)


.4 Linear Feet (1 half-width archival box)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder and chronologically within each folder, excepting files 4 and 5, which are arranged alphabetically.

Separated Materials

Photographs were removed and added to the Charlatans boxes in the Photograph Collection (0000-092) and oversized photographs located in flat file photograph drawers.

Kimberly Johnson (processed by Casey Macolino and Kimberly Johnson)
Summer 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Hamilton College Archives Repository

198 College Hill Road
Clinton NY United States