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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 612

Will Rapport papers


Photographs, drawings, prints, printing plates and blocks, and other materials by Boston artist, Will Rapport, as well as theatrical materials he collected.


  • Creation: 1931-1964

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Most of 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 to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


5 linear feet (13 boxes and 3 portfolio drawers)

Includes orginal drawings (many are cartoons) of performers and theatrical scenes, primarily used for newspaper promotions of productions in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Drawings are: watercolors, ink, graphite, crayon, and photomechanicals. Most are signed by Rapport and often are inscribed to him from the performer. Also includes relief and intaglio prints by Rapport as well as a few original printing plates and wood blocks, and original photographs and negatives by Rapport of Boston and New York City plays, ballets, and operas.

Other materials in this collection are theatrical materials Rapport collected, mostly associated with his original work, including: playbills from Boston (1948-1964); theatrical photographs taken by others; and window cards and posters from Boston productions.

Biographical / Historical

Rapport (active ca. 1931-1960) is known foremost as a photographer of dance productions and theatrical plays, but also was an illustrator and cartoonist. He worked mainly in the Boston, Massachusetts area.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Drawings by Will Rapport, by name of individual
  2. II. Drawings by Will Rapport, by title of production
  3. III. Negatives by Will Rapport
  4. IV. Photographs by Will Rapport
  5. V. Printing plates and wood blocks by Will Rapport
  6. VI. Photographs collected by Will Rapport
  7. VII. Playbills collected by Rapport
  8. VIII. Drawings by Will Rapport, oversize
  9. IX. Theatrical window cards collected by Will Rapport, oversize
  10. X. Posters collected by Will Rapport, oversize

Physical Location

Harvard Depository, pfd, ppf [shelved at Houghton]

Immediate Source of Acquisition


Gift of Will Rapport, 87 Grafton Street, Arlington, Massachusetts; received: 1966.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Denison and Bonnie B. Salt

Old lists of most of this material filed in the curatorial file.

Rapport, Will. Will Rapport papers, 1931-1964: 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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