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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 198

Charles Dibdin papers


Correspondence, compositions and others papers of English dramatist, actor and songwriter Charles Dibdin.


  • 1776-1927 and undated

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)

Contains letters of Dibdin to various correspondents and to the Sadler's Wells Theatre; manuscripts with lyrics and music for several of Dibdin's works, as well as lists of his songs; playbills; copyright agreement between Dibdin and John Candell concerning Metamorphosis; and Dibdin's manuscripts of untitled plays. Also includes 94 drawings by Ann Dibdin Dacre for Dibdin's The Professional Life; and two letters from Charles and Thomas Dibdin.

Biographical / Historical

Charles Dibdin was an English dramatist, actor and songwriter. His son Charles Isaac Mungo Pitt Dibdin wrote plays and pantomimes, and owned and managed Sadler's Wells Theatre. A younger son, Thomas John Pitt Dibdin composed some 2,000 songs in the style of the elder Dibdin; his most successful dramatic work was the pantomime of Mother Goose.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Compositions
  2. II. Letters from Charles Dibdin
  3. III. Documents, drawings and other letters

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

67M-158. Collected by Julian Marshall, Henry Phillips, and John Alexander Symington. Purchased with the F.E. Chase fund; received: 1945 January.

Dibdin, Charles, 1745-1814. Charles Dibdin papers, 1776-1927: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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.

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