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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 842

Thomas Orton Jones papers relating to Gilbert and Sullivan


Correspondence of and materials gathered by Thomas Orton Jones concerning Gilbert and Sullivan and Gilbert and Sullivan productions.


  • 1935-2004

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

The majority of 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.


3 linear feet (9 boxes)
Thomas Jones' correspondence and subject files make up the bulk of the collection. While his Gilbert and Sullivan research was in aid of personal interest, Jones often made copies of certain items to send to others doing similar research, chiefly Arthur Jacobs and Jane Stedman. With these people and some others, what started as an exchange of research, developed into personal relationships, and the correspondence reflects this. When possible, enclosures where kept with the relevant letter and/or correspondent.

The collection also contains notes on Gilbert and Sullivan productions in which Jones likely participated; exhibit labels and other materials composed and compiled by Jones for exhibits in his local Montgomery Country (Md.) library and elsewhere; programs and playbills from Gilbert and Sullivan productions; periodicals published by Gilbert and Sullivan societies; a scrapbook; realia; and other materials.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Orton Jones (1916-2004) served in the U.S. Army's Manhattan Engineering District during World War II as chief intelligence officer at the Los Alamos Laboratory under J. Robert Oppenheimer. In 1946, he joined the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission where he continued to work until his retirement in 1970.

Jones had personal passion for Gilbert and Sullivan operas, performing in productions himself, along with a research interest in Gilbert and Sullivan and links of their work to Oscar Wilde and James Whistler.


Arranged into the following series:
  1. I. Correspondence
  2. II. Correspondence of others
  3. III. Production notes
  4. IV. Subject files
  5. V. Other research material
  6. VI. Exhibit materials
  7. VII. Scrapbook
  8. VIII. Photographs
  9. IX. Programs and playbills
  10. X. Periodicals
  11. XI. Other printed materials
  12. XII. Other materials
  13. XIII. Realia

Physical Location

Harvard Depository, b

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2004MT-127. Bequest of Thomas Orton Jones '38, through Carl R. Gerber; received: 2005 March 15.

Separated Materials

Some printed material, chiefly Gilbert and Sullivan librettos, were removed from the collection and cataloged separately.

General note

The majority of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Processing Information

Processed by: Susan Wyssen
Link to catalog
Jones, Thomas Orton. Thomas Orton Jones papers relating to Gilbert and Sullivan, 1935-2004: 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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