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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 24

Cartes-de-visite portrait photographs of female dancers


Cartes-de-visite photographs depicting about 300 female dancers in ballet, opera, and musical comedy from the United States, England, France, Germany, and Italy.


  • 1854-1879

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

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.


3.5 linear feet (4 boxes)

Cartes-de-visite photographs, depicting about 300 female dancers in ballet, opera, and musical comedy from the United States, England, France, Germany,and Italy. Also includes several photo negatives and unmounted photographs. Most of the 1,302 photographs are albumen prints or black and white; some are sepia toned or hand colored. 11 x 7 cm. or smaller. Several of the cards are signed by the dancer, some with personal notes. Some of the photographs portray dancers in roles from various musical comedies, The white fawn, The devil's auction, and Black crook.

Dancers portrayed include: Mlle. Alexandrina, Lily Bennett, Maria Bonfanti, Fanny Cerrito, Isabella Cubas, Ernestine De Faiber, Ermesilda Diani, Fanny Elssler, Eugenie Fiocre, Louise Fiocre, Annetta Galletti, Josephine Invernizzi, Lizzie Kelsey, Anna Kruger, Selma Kruger, Lottie, Fanny Lucelle, Rose Lucelle, Marie Majilton, Giuseppina Morlacchi, Kate Pennoyer, Augusta Rabineau, Betty Rigl, Emily Rigl, Pepita Rovero, Rita Sangalli, Augusta Sohlke, Augustina Taglioni, Marie Taglioni [the younger], Marietta Zanfretta, Alice Zavistowski, Emeline Zavistowski, Marie Zoe, Rosa Zuardi, and Amelie Zucoli.

Photographers include: Disdéri, Ch. Reutlinger, Pierre Petit, T. R. Burnham, Trinquart, Sarony, C. D. Fredericks & Co., Howell, J. Gurney & Son, London Stereoscopic & Photographic Company, Mora, Pesmé, Rockwood, Warren's, Wood, and E. & H.T. Anthony.

Biographical / Historical

Cartes-de-visite were small-format photographs affixed to card stock begun about 1854. The image was a standard size of 3 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches. They went out of fashion in the 1870s.


Arranged alphabetically by name of subject of image.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Received from various sources.

Processing Information

Processed by: Amy Lucker, 1997.

Recataloged from MS Thr 481.

Cartes-de-visite portrait photographs of female dancers, circa 1854-1879: Guide.
Harvard Theatre Collection, 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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