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COLLECTION Identifier: Scrapbook Collection

Theatrical scrapbook collection

Over 900 scrapbooks of theatrical material, documenting theatrical and music productions and personalities in the United States and abroad.


  • 1791-1967

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English and many other European languages.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved off-site at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is off-site and retrieval policies and times.


165 linear feet (114 boxes and 39 volumes)

The Theatrical Scrapbook Collection consists of over 900 scrapbooks containing advertisements, business cards, cast-lists, clippings, some correspondence, engraved portraits and scenes, a few manuscripts, obituaries, cabinet photographs, photographic postcards, playbills, programs, tickets and ticket stubs, photographs, pressed flowers, reviews, posters, pictorial material and other memorabilia documenting theatrical, film, dance, opera, and music productions and personalities in the United States and abroad, from ca. 1800 to 1965.

Geographic range is broad, but is especially rich for productions in New York and Boston. Boston theaters include: Globe Theatre, Boston Museum, Boston Theatre, Park Theatre, Castle Square Opera Company, and many others. There is an exceptionally large scrapbook collection for the Hollis Street Theatre.

Also includes signed items, items from productions at Harvard University and other universities, personal scrapbook of actor George Clarke, ballet, circus, concerts, minstrel shows, items concerning drama schools, and other theatricals of all varieties. Many volumes include an index. Some items are in very poor condition and this information has been noted in the entry.

Biographical / Historical

In 1994, these scrapbooks were assembled in the Harvard Theatre Collection and sent to off-site storage at the Harvard Depository. It was attempted to not include materials that were primarily manuscripts, already cataloged items, scrapbooks containing primarily photographs, or non-performing arts scrapbooks. Items (1-802) were placed in 114 boxes; 39 oversized items (803-841) were wrapped and sent as individual volumes.


Arranged in randomly assigned item number and box number order.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Various sources, various dates. See individual items for accession information.

General note

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

Processing Information

Processed by: Susan Brady and Bonnie B. Salt
Link to catalog
Theatrical scrapbook collection, 1791-1967: Guide.
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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