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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 2127

Collection documenting the career of Billy James Harper


Collection of photographic postcards, programs, posters, and phonograph records documenting the career of opera tenor Billy James Harper.


  • circa 1950-1969

Condition Description

Phonograph records, at least one glass, are very fragile; balance of collection in good condition.

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted: fragile; consult curatorial staff (5 phonograph records).


.5 linear feet (2 boxes)

Photographs, photographic postcards, programs, five phonograph records of Harper singing, posters, and a passport.

Biographical / Historical

Billy James Harper was born in 1932 in Oklahoma. He became an opera tenor and taught at the University of Oklahoma in the 1950s before embarking on a performing tour of Italy, Germany, and Greece that carried through the 1960s.


Collection is arranged as received.

Custodial History

Ownership prior to this acquisition is unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2022MT-1. Purchased from Caroliniana with the Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Fund, 2021 June 26.

Processing Information

This collection was processed to a basic level with minimal rehousing, organization, and preservation. (Melanie Wisner, 2021)

Collection documenting the career of Billy James Harper, circa 1950-1969 (MS Thr 2127): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2021 July 23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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