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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 639

George Pierce Baker papers

Papers from American George Pierce Baker's tenure as a professor of English and drama at Harvard University. Also includes records from the Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant and the 47 workshop.


  • 1866-1940 (inclusive), 1897-1926 (bulk).

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, French, German, and Dutch.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to most of this material. Most of the collection is open for research.

Items (3987), (4036), and (4045 )are restricted: fragile; consult curatorial staff.

Portions of this collection are not housed at the Houghton Library but are 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.


1 collection (31 linear feet (82 boxes, including 4 portfolio boxes, 7 volumes))

The George Pierce Baker papers consist of a variety of materials produced by Baker during his professional career as a professor of English and drama at Harvard Univeristy, including: correspondence, autograph manuscript compositions, administrative materials, publications, and research files.

Series I. Correspondence: Correspondence between George Pierce Baker and students, colleagues and peers. Contains requests and invitations to lecture at a variety of organizations and institutions. Series also includes personal family correspondence between Baker, his father, George Pierce Baker, , wife Christina Hopkison Baker, and sons John, Edwin, Myles, and George Pierce Baker III., as well as correspondence regarding his family farm in Carroll County, New Hampshire. Personal business correspondence between Baker and a variety of merchants, lawyers, and other business is also included.

Series II. Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant: Materials generated by the production of the Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant, held in 1921 to commemorate the anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrim fathers. Includes research materials, manuscripts and typescripts of the pageant's script and score, correspondence, photographs, and reviews of the pageant. Includes works from collaborators such as Robert Frost, Josephine Preston Peabody, Hermann Hagedorn and John Powell.

Series III. The 47 workshop : Comprises performance and administrative records of the 47 workshop. The 47 workshop was established by Baker for students of his English 47 dramatic composition class to produce and perform their works. Audiences of Workshop plays were required to submit criticim about the plays for the student's use in revising their work. Materials in this series include programs, photographs, financial reports and correspondence.

Series IV. Compositions: Contains manuscript and typescript compositions by Baker including plays, essays and newspaper articles.

Series V. Other professional papers: Include Baker's lecture notes from classes he taught, as well as public appearances, student compositions, administrative records and collected printed materials and clippings.

Series VI. Biographical papers: Consists of personal photographs and portraits, diaries from his early years at Harvard, awards, and certificates

Biographical / Historical

George Pierce Baker was an American drama educator. He graduated from Harvard University in 1887 and from 1888 to 1924 was a faculty member in the English Department. While at Harvard, he played a key role in starting the Harvard Theatre Collection at Harvard University Library; he created the Harvard Dramatic Club; and he founded Workshop 47 to provide a forum for the performance of plays developed by students of his English 47 class. Baker was unable to convince Harvard to offer a degree in playwrighting, and in 1925 he accepted a position at Yale University. At Yale, he helped found the Yale School of Drama and remained there until his retirement in 1933.


Organized into the following series:
  1. I. Correspondence
  2. ___A. Professional correspondence
  3. ______1. General correspondence
  4. ______2. Invitations and requests
  5. ___B. Family correspondence
  6. ___C. Boulder Farm correspondence
  7. ___D. Personal business correspondence
  8. II. Pilgrim Tercentenary Pageant
  9. ___A. Correspondence
  10. ______1. General correspondence
  11. ______2. Research and planning
  12. ______3. Audience response letters
  13. ___B. Production materials and photographs
  14. ___C. Printed material and clippings
  15. III. The 47 workshop
  16. ___A. Production materials
  17. ___B. Administrative and financial records
  18. IV. Compositions
  19. V. Professional papers
  20. ___A. Teaching files
  21. ______1. Course lecture notes
  22. ______2. Student papers
  23. ___B. Public lectures
  24. ___C. Publications, printed material and clippings
  25. ___D. Research files
  26. ___E. Other professional papers
  1. VI. Biographical papers
  2. ___A. Photographs
  3. ___B. Other personal material

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number.

Gift of Christina Hopkinson Baker; received: various dates.

Related Materials

Additional material may be located at Records of the 47 workshop, circa 1913-1961, Papers of George Pierce Baker, ca. 1901 and in the George Pierce Baker papers, 1878-1958 (inclusive), Beinecke Library, Yale Univeristy.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne E. Denison
Link to catalog
Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935. George Pierce Baker papers, 1866-1940: Guide.
Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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