The artificial collection comprises primary and secondary source materials on Helena Modjeska, a nineteenth-century Polish
stage actress who had a successful career in the United States. Most items pertain to her stage career, while others provide
insight into Modjeska's life at her Santiago Canyon ranch, Arden, in Orange County, California. Primary sources include original
and photocopied Modjeska correspondence, ephemera, programs and playbills, photographs, scrapbooks, and artifacts. Secondary
sources include biographical information on Modjeska in newspaper clippings, manuscripts typescripts, and published journal
articles written by a number of authors.
Helena Modjeska was born Helena Opid on October 12, 1840 in Krakow, Poland. Her interest in acting began at a young age, and
she left school early to train with a local actor. Under the management of Gustave Sinnmayer Modrzejewski, she made her theatrical
debut as Helena Modrzejewska in Bochnia, Poland in 1861. Although she had two children by Modrzejewski, they never married,
and after the death of her three-year old daughter in 1865, she left him and returned to Krakow with her young son Ralph.
2.1 Linear feet
(4 boxes and 5 oversize folders)
Property rights reside with the University of California. Copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their
heirs. For permission to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The collection is open for research.