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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 414.2

Howard D. Rothschild collection on Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev: Photographs and scrapbooks


Photographs and scrapbooks related to Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, collected by Howard D. Rothschild.


  • Creation: 1909-1975


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, Russian and French.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.


12 linear feet (15 boxes, 3 volumes, and 1 portfolio drawer)

Includes photographs of dancers, choreographers, artists, composers and other people related to Ballets Russes, as well as images of scenes from the Ballets Russes productions.

The collection also includes photo albums of Ballet Russes dancers and scrapbooks with press clippings, typescripts of reviews, original photographs and drawings compiled by Peggie Cochrane and Anton Dolin.

Biographical / Historical

Howard D. Rothschild (d. 1989) was an artist and a major American collector of artwork related to Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. He developed a passion for the Ballets Russes after Waslaw Nijinsky withdrew from a performance during the company's tour of America in 1916, this performance was attended by Rothschild when a child. The collection was amassed by purchase and by gift from the dancers and artists with whom Rothschild developed friendships.

Serge Diaghilev (1872-1929) was a Russian ballet impresario, the founder, producer and artistic director of Ballets Russes.

Ballets Russes was established by Serge Diaghilev in 1909 as a touring company to promote Russian ballet in Europe. After World War I the company permanently relocated to the West. The company gave rise to careers of a great number of outstanding Russian and Western dancers, choreographers, composers and artists who had recreated the art of ballet for the 20th-century, both in Europe and in the United States.


Arranged in two series:

  1. I. Photographs
  2. ___A. People
  3. ___B. Productions
  4. II. Scrapbooks

Please note that item number 161 was inadvertently omitted from this finding aid.

Physical Location

b, ppf, bMS, fMS

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Bequest of Howard D. Rothschild, 1035 Park Avenue, New York, New York; received: 1990 March 23.

Separated Materials

Other parts of the bequest were catalogued as:

Ballets Russes souvenir programs, books and periodicals from the bequest were incorporated into the Harvard Theatre Collection general holdings. Provenance of each item was indicated.

Processing Information

Processed by: Irina Klyagin.

The collection was originally processed in 1991 by Catherine Johnson, Amy Lucker and Kathy Markees. It has been frequently used by researchers, so reference numbers from the Rothschild Photographs Database (RP, or RPS) have been recorded.

Rothschild, Howard D., collector. Howard D. Rothschild collection on Ballets Russes of Serge Diaghilev: Photographs and scrapbooks, 1909-1975: 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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