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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 415

F. Gentile di Giuseppe collection of French and Italian opera ballet


Correspondence and contracts of French and Italian opera ballet dancers and their theatrical agents, as well as broadsides and clippings.


  • 1694-1904
  • Majority of material found within 1790-1890

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


3.5 linear feet (7 boxes)

The collection was compiled by F. Gentile de Giuseppe and includes over five hundred letters, contracts and libretti (now removed) on French and Italian opera ballet of the nineteenth century. A large number of the letters are between dancers and their theatrical agents, particularly Domenico Barbaja (manager for Teatro alla Scala in Milan and Teatro di San Carlo in Naples), Innocenzo Canedi, Henri Duponchel (Opéra de Paris), M. Ferville, and Sig. Mezzabotta. The contracts also refer to the agents, and describe terms and fees for seasons or performances. The letters date primarily from the late eighteenth century through the nineteenth century. The collection includes several broadsides from Teatro La Fenice. In addition, the collection contains newspaper and magazine clippings on twentieth century dance, including the Ballets Russes.

Correspondents include: Albert, Eliza Albert-Bellon, Jean Aumer, Giuditta Ballerini, Giuseppe Bini, Jean Baptiste Blache, Carlo Blasis, Pasquale Borri, Cesare Cecchetti, Enrico Cecchetti, Fanny Cerrito, Achille Coppini, Eugene Coralli, Lorenzo Corti, Claudina Cucchi, Luigi Danesi, Fanny Elssler, Amalia Ferraris, Nathalie Fitzjames, Sofia Fuoco, Giovanni Galerani, Lucile Grahn, Raffaele Grassi, Carlotta Grisi, Emilia Laurati, Emma Livry, Maria Malibran, Luigi Manzotti, Cesare Marzagora, Ernesto Mascagno, Augusta Maywood, Ippolito Monplaisir, Antonio Pallerini, Marius Petipa, Jules Perrot, Francesco Razzani, Giuseppe Rota, Arthur Saint-Leon, Rita Sangalli, Filippo Taglioni, Marie Taglioni, Salvatore Taglioni, Giuseppe Torre, Armand Vestris, Charles Vestris, Elena Vigano, Salvatore Vigano and Carlotta Zambelli.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Manuscripts
  2. II. Clippings

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Raphael Salem (daughter of the collector); received: 1967.

Separated Materials

The libretti were removed from the files and cataloged individually in the library's online catalog. To find this material, perform an "author search" for "Salem collection."

Processing Information

Processed by: Amy Lucker, 1997.

Gentile di Giuseppe, F., collector. F. Gentile di Giuseppe collection of French and Italian opera ballet, 1694-1904: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description
Processed and encoded as part of the Dance Heritage Coalition Access to Dance Research Resources Project, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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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