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COLLECTION — Volume: 1 Identifier: MS Thr 2287

Josephine Baker information booklet, sheet music, and ephemera


Materials relating to the career of dancer, singer, and actor Josephine Baker, including an information booklet, a piece of sheet music, postcards, and advertisements.


  • 1928-1950 and undated


Condition Description

In good condition, careful handling required.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

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


.08 linear feet (1 volume)

Contains an information booklet about the career of Josephine Baker with pictures from throughout Baker's career and sheet music for "J'ai deux Amours" (translated: "I have two loves"), which was originally written for Baker's performances. Also includes French and Italian postcards of Baker, some of which are written on by the original purchasers, as well as advertisements for Pernod Fils Liqueur and André Brunswick Fur Clothing featuring Baker.

Biographical / Historical

Josephine Baker was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress. Baker began performing in Broadway shows in 1921. In 1925 she moved to France and became one of Europe's most popular and highest-paid performers. She was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture, the 1927 silent film Siren of the Tropics, directed by Mario Nalpas and Henri Étiévant. She worked for the French Resistance during World War II, and during the 1950s and '60s devoted herself to fighting segregation and racism in the United States.


Arranged as received.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Custodial History

Ownership prior to this acquisition is unknown.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2023Mt-85. Purchased from Swann Auction Galleries using the Howard D. Rothschild Bequest, 2023 March 30.

Processing Information

This collection was processed to a basic level with minimal rehousing, organization, and preservation. (Aurora Charlow, 2023)

Josephine Baker information booklet, sheet music, and ephemera, 1928-1950 and undated, (MS Thr 2287): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University
2023 June 21
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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