Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 68

Harvard Theatre Collection playbills and programs from theaters in the United States

Overview

Printed playbills and programs from theatrical productions presented at theaters in the United States, except for New York City and Boston.

Dates

  • 1800-1990

Language of Materials

Predominantly in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Extent

187 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.

Arrangement

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.

Physical Location

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.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2018 November.

Title
Harvard Theatre Collection. Harvard Theatre Collection playbills and programs from theaters in the United States, 1800-1990 (TCS 68): Guide.
Status
completed
Author
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
Date
2018 November 2
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
und
EAD ID
hou03046

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.

Contact:
Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440