Research Basics


That's how many letters and e-mail messages to us begin.  The AVM web page and its print quarterly, Vaudeville Times, were created to gather more people into the research pool for vaudeville, as well as burlesk, variety, musical revues, musical comedies, tab shows, and early sound movies.  At present we are driven by an agenda that is extensive.

There were tens of thousands of vaudeville performers and only a fraction of them found their way into films and publications so there is very little research material available. Because of the volume of requests we have discontinued posting inquiries at the web site and AVM can only research a very few inquiries from the web pages.  While we always welcome new members, genealogical research is not a good reason to join AVM as there is no guarantee of results.  However, should you wish to join, please go to our membership page "Join the Audience."

Your local library’s newspaper archives and show business books and documents are the best place to begin your search.  Ellis Island has a web site and you can search for information there.  You may also search the Links to other organizations at our web site.

The following books may prove useful.  Also look at our new feature offering a more extensive listing of over 170 books for your library.  AVM Library Listing

Once Upon a Stage by Charles and Louise Samuels, 1974, NYC, Dodd, Mead

American Vaudeville by Douglas Gilbert, 1940, NYC, Dover

Vaudeville by Joe Laurie, Jr., 1953, NYC, Henry Holt

Encyclopedia of Vaudeville by Anthony Slide, 1994, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT

Good Luck!!

If you would like to contribute memorabilia or information to the AVM,

please write to us at


American Vaudeville Museum

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