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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 2156

Anna May Wong compositions and collected music


Manuscript musical compositions by Chinese American actress Anna May Wong with printed and manuscript music by others.


  • circa 1800-1961
  • Majority of material found in circa 1905-1930


Condition Description

Much of the collection is on paper that is crumbling at the edges and torn in a few cases. One item bears the residue of adhesive tape.

Conditions Governing Access

Collectioon is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is shelved offsite. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


.3 linear feet (2 boxes)

Collection includes manuscript music by Wong and by Constant Lambert, Ernest Irving, and Hans May, and printed music.

Biographical / Historical

Anna May Wong (born Wong Liu Tsong) was a Chinese American actress whose career spanned silent film, sound film, television, stage, radio, and vaudeville. She resisted the stereotypical roles she was offered in Hollywood and left for Europe in the late 1920s where she starred in several notable plays and films. Wong was acclaimed as an actress, for her performance and for her achievements as an Asian American; she was also renowned as a fashion icon.


Collection is arranged in the following series: Compositions by Anna May Wong; Compositions by others; Printed music and ephemera.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Custodial History

The collection passed from the estate of Anna May Wong to her daughter, then to the dealer from whom the library acquired it.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2022MT-29. Purchased from Daniel Oliver Gallery with the Ruth Neils and John M. Ward Fund, 2021 October 29.

Processing Information

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

Wong, Anna May, 1905-1961. Anna May Wong compositions and collected music, circa 1800-1961 (MS Thr 2156): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2021 November 24
Description rules
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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