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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 38

Harvard Theatre Collection daguerreotypes

Scope and Contents

This series includes a wide variety of photographs of theatrical subjects, in the format of daguerreotypes. Primarily portraits of individuals and group portraits, but can include other images.


  • 1830-1860

Conditions Governing Access

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


9 linear feet (25 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

Daguerreotypes are photographs made by a process which produces a direct positive image on a silver-coated copper plate. They are often mounted in special cases lined with red velvet or leather. They are named for Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre of France, who invented the technique in collaboration with Nicéphore Niépce in the 1830s. The process lost popularity in the 1860s when the ambrotype photograph gained use. Daguerreotypes can be a variety of sizes.


Arranged in alphabetical order by name of subject of image.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

No accession number. Various sources, various dates.

General note

Harvard Theatre Collection daguerreotypes that have been digitized are discoverable through Hollis Images by searching for "daguerreotypes" and limiting to the Theatre Collection.

The items in this collection have all been digitized.

Processing Information

Processed by Diana Myers, 2018.

Harvard Theatre Collection daguerreotypes, 1830-1860 (TCS 38): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
October 17, 2018
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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