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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 48

Harvard Theatre Collection theatrical scene photomechanical prints


Contains photomechanical prints from theatrical productions, mainly in England and the United States.


  • Creation: 1855-1900


Language of Materials

English, French, German

Conditions Governing Access

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


2 linear feet (4 boxes and 84 oversize folders)

Contains commercial reproductions of prints of scenes from dramatic productions, mainly from the latter half of the nineteenth century. The majority of the photomechanical prints were published in papers such as the “Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News,” “Gleason’s Pictorial,” “New York Dramatic News,” “John C. Freund’s Music and Drama,” “Baillou’s Pictorial Drawing Room Companion,” and “Illustrated London News,” among others. The majority of the prints are from productions in the United States and England, though some appear to also be French and German.

Biographical / Historical

The Harvard Theatre Collection was founded in 1901 through the efforts of Professor George Pierce Baker, and collects documentary materials pertaining to the history of the performing arts, including theatre, dance and ballent, and opera and musical theatre, among other areas. The Harvard Theatre Collection has collected photomechanical prints which depict theatrical scenes over the course of the twentieth century, up to 2010, when this series was closed.

Photomechanical prints are images produced by processes that involve a photographic process (that is, employing light-sensitivity) to transfer an image, and then a separate process to produce the print, which was never itself light-sensitive. Formerly called process prints.


The oversized materials are arranged in alphabetical order by production title. The boxed materials have not been processed, and are loosely arranged in alphabetical order by production title.

Physical Location

b, pfd (P1.C2.06.17 - P1.C2.06.18 [Folders 1-84])

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various gifts, various dates.

Processing Information

Oversized materials processed by Betts Coup, 2018 October. Boxed materials have not been processed.

Harvard Theatre Collection. Harvard Theatre Collection theatrical scene photomechanical prints, 1855-1900 (TCS 48): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2018 October 16
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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