Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 63

Playbills and programs from London theaters


Printed playbills and programs from theaters in and around London, England.


  • 1777-1978, and undated

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. There are are restrictions on physical access to fragile material when noted.


138 linear feet (305 boxes, 250 volumes, and 56 folders)

Printed playbills and programs from theatrical productions presented at theaters in and around London, England.

Addresses for theaters have been provided, when known. Occasionally the same theater name applied to multiple locations and separate entries were given for the different locations.

Includes materials for: Covent Garden Theatre, Haymarket Theatre (London, England), Lyceum Theatre (London, England), Princess's Theatre (London, England), Sadler's Wells Theatre (London, England), Theatre Royal, Drury Lane (London, England) and many others.

Biographical / Historical

Theater programs and playbills are printed lists of the acts, scenes, selections, or other features composing a play or theatrical entertainment, including the names of the performers. Typically a playbill is a single-sheet listing of acts with a short description, printed on one side of paper and a program is a folded piece printed on both sides, in leaflet, pamphlet, or booklet size.


The finding aid is arranged alphabetically by name of theater, though the materials are arranged physically by size, and therefore the item numbers are not in sequential order in the finding aid.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various accession numbers; Gifts of various sources, various dates.

Processing Information

Processed by Micah Hoggatt and Susan Pyzynski. Oversized materials processed by Betts Coup, 2018 October.

Playbills and programs from London theaters, 1777-1978, and undated: Guide. (TCS 63)
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.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440