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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 752

W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan photographic postcards


Photographic postcards of actors, scenes and other images relating to the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan.


  • 1880-2000

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.


.5 linear feet (1 box)

Includes photographic postcard portrait images of actors and actresses in costumes in G & S productions and in street clothes; images of scenes with multiple actors from various productions of Gilbert & Sullivan; images of places related to G & S; and multiple copies of 3 postcard images of Anthony Dyson's designs for The Mikado at St. Francis' Church Choir & Friends. Some postcards are signed.

Biographical / Historical

Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) was an English composer and conductor. W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert (1836-1911) was a English dramatist and librettist. They formed a Victorian-era theatrical partnership, collaborating on fourteen comic operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H. M. S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, or, The town of Titipu are among the best known.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Portrait photographic postcards by subject name
  2. II. Photographic postcards by opera title
  3. III. Photographic postcards by image title
  4. IV. Anthony Dyson postcards

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 Gilbert and Sullivan (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: Bonnie B. Salt

W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan photographic postcards, circa 1880-2000: 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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