Harvard Theatre Collection playbills and programs from theaters in the United States
Printed playbills and programs from theatrical productions presented at theaters in the United States, except for New York City and Boston.
Language of Materials
Predominantly in English.
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.
Extent187 linear feet (145 boxes and 17 folders)
Contains printed playbills and programs from productions presented at theaters in the United States, except for New York City and Boston. Many playbills are from theatres in Chicago, the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, New Orleans, St. Louis, and throughout Massachusetts.
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 ballet, and opera and musical theatre, among other areas.
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.
Arranged alphabetically by state, town, and theatre name. Unidentified locations follow at the end of the alphabetical run. The boxed materials have not been fully processed, and are loosely alphabetized.
b(Boxes 1-53), bpf (Boxes 54-148), pfd (P1.C2.07.10 [Folders 1-7]), ppf (P1.C2.07.1 [Folders 18-17])
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Various gifts at various dates. Known acquisition information is noted in the file description.
Processed by Betts Coup, 2018 November.
- Harvard Theatre Collection. Harvard Theatre Collection playbills and programs from theaters in the United States, 1800-1990 (TCS 68): Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard University.
- 2018 November 2
- Description rules
- Language of description
- EAD ID
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.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA