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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 543

Theatre Arts Monthly collection of portraits, drawings, photographs, and playbills


Portrait and group portrait photographs of theatre-related people.


  • Creation: 1916-1964 (inclusive)
  • Creation: 1924-1943 (bulk)

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English. One item is in Russian.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


2.33 linear feet (9 boxes and 9 oversize folders)

Includes portrait photographs and group portrait photographs of actors and actresses for stage and film, singers, composers, directors, some non-theatrical well-known persons, dancers, writers, poets, and many others. Also includes some photomechanical prints, reproductions of drawings and caricatures, photographic proof sheets, and more. Photographers are listed if known. Most materials are undated. Series III contains caricatures, drawings, and photographs likely featured in the publication Theatre Arts Monthly or belonging to staff members.

Biographical / Historical

Theatre Arts Magazine (1916-1923), Theatre Arts Monthly (1924- October 1939), and Theatre Arts (November 1939-1964) were serial publications containing in-depth coverage of the theatre world.Established as Theatre Arts Magazine by author and critic Sheldon Warren Cheney as a quarterly publication, it was supported initially by the Detroit Society of Arts and Crafts and based in Detroit, until the offices relocated to New York City in 1917. Under the lead editor Edith J.R. Isaacs, the magazine was renamed Theatre Arts Monthly in 1924, and in 1939, to Theatre Arts. In 1945, the magazine was sold, and Isaacs retired in 1946. The magazine was then sold again in 1948, and merged with Stage.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Portraits, general
  2. II. Portraits of dancers
  3. III. Caricature portraits, drawings, photographs, and playbills

Physical Location

b (shelved with photographs on P1, range 6; and Pusey aisle 5), pfd (P1.C1.06.11 [Folders 510-518])

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gift of Theatre Arts Books, 1985 November 27. Two items were a separate gift of George Zournas and Rosamund Gilder, 1986 January 15; these are noted in the file description.

Separated Materials

Other portions of the Theatre Arts Monthly Collection have been cataloged into these additional finding aids:

Processing Information

Processed by: Monique Duhaime with the assistance of Bonnie B. Salt and Melanie Wisner. Part of the MS Storage project, 2008-2009. Oversized materials processed by Betts Coup, 2018 July.

Theatre Arts Monthly collection of portraits, drawings, photographs, and playbills, circa 1916-1964 (inclusive), circa 1924-1943 (bulk): 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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