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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 710

Photographs of theatrical performers


Collection of theatrical performers depicted in photographs, cartes-de-visites, cabinet photographs, photographic postcards, stereographs, copy prints, photogravures, and photomechanical prints.


  • 1862-1982

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

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.


4.5 linear feet (15 boxes)

This collection includes photographs of actors, actresses, dramatists, opera singers, composers, musicians, dancers, comedy acts, as well as burlesque and vaudeville performers primarily from the 19th-century, with a few from the 20th century. The bulk of the collection focuses on popular performers from the United States and England, but also includes performers from France, Ireland, Russia, Germany, and Scotland. The photographs are mostly cartes-de-vistes and cabinet photographs, but include photographic postcards, copy prints, photogravures, photomechanical prints, and stereographs. Notable performers include Belle Archer, Dion Boucicault, Fanny Davenport, Joseph Jefferson, Edward Sothern, and many others.


Arranged alphabetically by name of subject of image.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2010MT-11. Gift of Thomas Garrett; received: 2010 October 9.

Forms part of the Fredric Woodbridge Wilson Collection of Theater, Dance and Music (Harvard Theatre Collection).

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Alison Harris

Photographs of theatrical performers, 1862-1982: 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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