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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 835

W. S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan printed ephemera


Subject files of printed ephemera related to W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.


  • Creation: 1826-2006

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.


5.7 linear feet (19 boxes)

This collection includes subject files of printed materials related to the lives, professions, and legacies of W. S. (William Schwenck) Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan. Items are arranged alphabetically by topic, title, or name. Materials include, but are not limited to, book jackets, booklets, catalogs, cigarette cards, clippings, librettos, maps, newsletters, order forms, pamphlets, photographs, posters, press kits, programs, sheet music, toy theaters, and trade cards.

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. Oversize (16 x 20) printed ephemera
  2. II. Oversize (14 x 18) printed ephemera

Original arrangement by collector Fredric Woodbridge Wilson has been retained.

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.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Ashley M. Nary

W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan printed ephemera, 1826-2006: 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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