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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 1605

American Repertory Theater records

Scope and Contents

Collection contains material related to productions of the American Repertory Theater.


  • circa 1979-2019

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Special equipment or surrogate required for audiovisual material; consult Houghton Public Services.

Conditions Governing Access

Most of this collection is housed 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.

Conditions Governing Access

Audio- and videotapes are restricted until digitized.


65 linear feet (74 boxes, 10 folders)
17 Gigabytes

Biographical / Historical

The American Repertory Theatre was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein. It is the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University.

When founded, the American Repertory Theater used the British "Theatre" in its name. However, the name has been changed to American Repertory Theater. The authorized version of the name still reflects the older name configuration, which is why this finding aid contains both. The authorized format is used in controlled headings but otherwise the newer name is used.


Collection is arranged into six series: audiovisual recordings, production posters, production books, negatives and contact sheets, prompt books, and additional material.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For audiovisual formats within Series I and Series VI special equipment or surrogate required; consult Houghton Public Services.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2009MT-76, 2012MT-22, 2012MT-49, 2016MT-57, 2019MT-16, 2019MT-139, 2022MT-17, and unknown. Gift of the American Repertory Theatre; received: 1983-2021.

Separated Materials

Born-digital material has been separated: Thr1605BD

Processing Information

In 2017, some of the audiovisual recordings were individually described. At that time, various accessions were consolidated and represented in a single finding aid. No further processing or descriptive work was undertaken on the production posters, production books, or negatives and contact sheets.

The prompt books and additional materials were previously arranged and described in a collection related to the Loeb Drama Center (MS Thr 529), which was donated to Houghton Library by the American Repertory Theater. That description has been reused and is represented here as part of the American Repertory Theater records.

American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Mass.). American Repertory Theater records, circa 1979-2019 (MS Thr 1605): Guide.
April 25, 2017
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.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
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