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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 103

Lee Simonson and Carolyn Hancock theatrical designs and papers


Costume designs and plans by American theatrical designer Lee Simonson, as well as production photographs for plays produced by the Theatre Guild in New York City.


  • Creation: 1919-1938

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.


10 linear feet (67 folders and 11 boxes)

Contains costume designs by Simonson in pencil, ink and watercolor for various plays, production photographs taken by Francis Bruguiere and Florence Vandamm of plays produced by the Theatre Guild in New York City, and plans for set designs as well as public and living spaces.

Biographical / Historical

Simonson (1888-1967) was an American scenographer. He graduated from Harvard College in 1909.


Organized into the following series:

  1. I. Designs
  2. II. Production photographs
  3. III. Plans
  4. IV. Additional designs, papers, and photographs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

63M-121. Gift of Lee Simonson, of New York, in memory of William B. Van Lennep; received: 1964.

2016MT-73. Gift of Dora Odarenko, 2016 December 7.

2016MT-62, 2016MT-66. Purchased with funds from the Beatrice, Benjamin and Richard Bader Fund in the Visual Arts of the Theatre, 2017 January-February.

Simonson, Lee, 1888-1967. Lee Simonson and Carolyn Hancock theatrical designs and papers, 1919-1938: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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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