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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 443

People's Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) records


Correspondence, scripts, photographs, and clippings relating to the People's Theatre of Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • Creation: 1964-1982

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff members to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


6.5 linear feet (16 boxes)

Contains business correspondence, scripts, photographs, and clippings relating to the People's Theatre of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Biographical / Historical

The People's Theatre was founded in 1964 by Ruth Elder, a former professor of speech and drama at Tufts University. The company was dedicated to multi-racial casting, a policy established by Elder and adopted by her successors, Chris Connaire (1967-1980) and June Judson (1980-1982). When it closed in 1982, the People's Theatre was the oldest continuously operating small theatre in the Boston area.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Photographs
  2. II. Clippings and Programs
  3. III. Scripts
  4. IV. General Files

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition


Gift of People's Theatre Cambridge, through June Judson, and Brook Lipset, 220 Marlboro Street, Boston, MA; received: 1985 February 26.

General note

This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

A portion of this collection is unprocessed (Series IV, boxes 7-14).

Processing Information

This finding aid was revised in 2022 to address racist descriptive language. During that revision, description was changed in the description of a single item; the derogatory term appears in a formal title and thus was not removed, but a contextual historical note as well as a processing information note explaining the term's presence were added to the item's description. If you have questions or comments about these revisions, please contact Houghton Library. For more information on reparative archival description at Harvard, see Harvard Library’s Statement on Harmful Language in Archival Description.

People's Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.). People's Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) records, 1964-1982: 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.

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

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