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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 29

Theatrical scene photographs


Includes photographs, mainly black and white, of scenes from theatrical productions and a few early twentieth century films.


  • circa 1860-2010

Language of Materials

The collection is in English, with a few materials in German.

Conditions Governing Access

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


34 linear feet (86 boxes and 109 oversize folders)

Includes photographs, mainly black and white, of scenes from theatrical productions of many kinds as well as a few early twentieth century films. The bulk of the oversize photographs date from about 1890-1935, and include multiple photographic processes. A few have been hand-colored or otherwise physically altered. Many include annotations on the back describing the productions, and a few have inscriptions and autographs on the front by performers features in the scene or are accompanied by production programs. Most of the performers appear to have been in productions in the United States, primarily in New York and Boston. Some Harvard College and Radcliffe College productions are included.

The oversize materials have been processed, while additional boxed materials (which include further productions from theatrical and film history) have not been processed, and are not included in the existing list of contents.

Biographical / Historical

The theatrical scene photographs were grouped together due to similar format and content, and include photographs of scenes primarily from productions throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. The photographs were likely used for promoting or commemorating performances or productions.


Arranged in alphabetical order by name of the production. Boxed materials are loosely arranged in this manner, and have not been processed.

Physical Location

pfd (P1.C4.08.04 - P1.C4.08.08 [Folders 1-100]), ppf (P1.C4.08.09 - P1.C4.08.10 [Folders 101-109])

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Donated by and acquired from various sources at various dates prior to 2010.

Related Materials

For theatrical scenes photographs in other formats (such as cabinet photographs, postcards, cartes-de-visite, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes) see other "HTC Photographs" and "TCS" series, and other individual photographic collections. For the majority of film stills, see HTC Photographs 7 and TCS 37.

This series was "closed" (not to be added to) in 2010. For scene photographs acquired after this date, see HTC Photographs 5.

Processing Information

Oversized items processed by Betts Coup, 2018 April. The boxed materials are only partially processed, and further updates to this finding aid are anticipated.

Theatrical scene photographs, ca. 1860-2010 (TCS 29): Guide
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2018 April 30
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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