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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 654

John Cromwell papers


Compositions, letters and photographs by or addressed to American actor and playwright John Cromwell.


  • Creation: 1928-1980

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English, Greek and French.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

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.


1 linear feet (3 boxes)

Includes: letters written by Aldus Huxley addressed to John Cromwell; typescript and printed plays by John Cromwell; and photograph portraits of John Cromwell and other actors including Ethel Barrymore, John Gielgud, Lillian Gish, and Raymond Massey.

Biographical / Historical

John Cromwell (1914-1979) was an actor and a playwright in New York. His father, Seymour L. Cromwell, was a president of the New York Stock Exchange. John Cromwell attended Harvard College to study business but left after two years to pursue an acting career. He made his Broadway debut in 1935 in the play The Old Maid. He wrote several plays and two novels. Cromwell died in London on September 1, 1979.


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. Letters
  2. II. Compositions
  3. III. Photographs

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2006MT-119r. Old gift; source unknown.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Krista Ferrante

Cromwell, John, 1914-1979. John Cromwell papers, 1928-1980: 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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