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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 61

Harvard Theatre Collection caricature prints (visual works)


Contains caricatures of theatrical personalities, productions, scenes, and further cultural experiences, mainly in England, France, Germany, the United States, and Italy.


  • 1710-1989, undated

Language of Materials

In English, French, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

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


2.5 linear feet (2 boxes and 185 folders)

Contains caricature prints (visual works) dating from the eighteenth throught twentieth centuries, often relating to theatrical figures and productions, as well as fine arts culture, class structures, political influence in theatre, and similar cultural issues. Some are from regular publications such as McLean's Monthly Sheet of Caricatures and the French newspaper Le Charivari. Known figures featured in the caricatures include Edmund Kean, Charlotte Cox, John Richardson, Lord Brougham, John Bull, William Betty, John Liston, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, Charles Mathews, Robert Coates, Charles Kemble, Sarah Siddons, as well as Barbara Streisand, among many others. Known personal names of depicted figures are included in the Scope and Contents Note for each file. Artists included Isaac Robert Cruikshank, George Cruikshank, Samuel Collings, Robert Dighton, George Moutard Woodward, James Gillray, John Doyle, William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson, Lewis Marks, Tom Merry (pseudonym), William Heath, Charles Williams, Samuel DeWilde, among others. Known artists are included within the title of each file. If an artist is inferred from an outside record relating to this work, this is noted. If an attribution is uncertain, a (?) will follow the name of the artist.

Biographical / Historical

Prints (visual works) are pictorial works produced by transferring images by means of a matrix such as a plate, block, or screen, using any of various printing processes. Caricatures first came into being in the sixteenth and seventeen centuries, often created by satirists to ridicule figures, political and cultural situations, including theatrical and artistic culture.


The oversize prints are arranged alphabetically by the title of the caricature. Boxed materials have not yet been processed and thus are not arranged.

Physical Location

b (Pusey aisle 5), pfd (P1.01.06.04 - P1.01.06.07[Folders 1-185])

Other Finding Aids

A full index is available on-site in a curatorial file, with lengthier description of all contents, at Houghton Library.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Gifts of various sources and acquisitions from various sources, while some acquisition details are unknown. Known acquisition information is noted in file descriptions as available.

2004MT-7. Purchase, Michael Finney Antique Books and Prints, 2004. Items from this accession are noted.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2018 June.

Harvard Theatre Collection caricature prints (visual works), 1710-1989, undated (TCS 61): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2018 June 25
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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