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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 54

Harvard Theatre Collection on New York theaters


Contains prints (visual works), photographs, newsclippings, and posters depicting views of theaters in New York City.


  • 1822-1962
  • Majority of material found within ( 1856-1900)

Language of Materials

English, German.

Conditions Governing Access

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


7.27 linear feet (7 boxes and 138 folders)

Contains photographs, prints, posters, and newsclippings displaying exterior and interior views and seating charts of New York theaters. Some photographs also feature views of theatrical lighting, equipment, props, backstage spaces, and dressing rooms. Several prints depict the burnings of theaters, including: the Academy of Music, Barnum’s American Museum, National Theatre, Park Theatre, Standard Theatre, and Windsor Theatre. The images of theaters include: Aberle’s Theatre, Academy of Music, Barnum’s American Museum, Belasco Theatre, Broadway Theatre, Bowery Theatre, Carnegie Music Hall, Chickering’s Music Hall, the Hippodrome, Lafayette Theatre, Melodeon Theatre, Metropolitan Opera House, National Theatre, Niblo’s Theatre, Olympic Theatre, Palma’s Opera House, Park Theatre, People’s Theatre, Player’s Clubhouse, Union Square Theatre, and Wallack’s Theatre, among others. The majority of the images depict theaters in the second half of the nineteenth century.

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. These prints, newsclippings, and photographs have been collected over time.


Oversized materials are arranged in alphabetical order by theater name. Boxed materials have not been processed and are loosely arranged alphabetically by theater name.

Physical Location

b, pfd (P1.C3.05.03 - P1.C3.05.05 [Folders 1-128]), ppf (P1.C3.05.06 [Folders 129-138)]

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Various gifts at various dates. Known acquisition information is noted in the file description.

Related Materials

For further images of theaters, see: TCS 53-59, Harvard Theatre Collections on London, Boston, United States, provincial Great British, Paris, and international theaters.

Processing Information

Oversized materials processed by Betts Coup, 2019 January. Boxed materials have not been processed.

Harvard Theatre Collection. Harvard Theatre Collection on New York theaters, 1822-1972 (bulk 1856-1900) (TCS 54): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2019 January 14
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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