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COLLECTION Identifier: TCS 53

Harvard Theatre Collection on London theaters


Contains prints (visual works), photographs, newsclippings, and posters displaying exterior and interior views and seating charts of London theaters.


  • Creation: 1616-1967
  • Creation: Majority of material found within (1751-1875)


Language of Materials

English, French

Conditions Governing Access

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


7.78 linear feet (10 boxes and 132 folders)

Contains photographs, prints, posters, and newsclippings displaying exterior and interior views and seating charts of London theaters and gardens. Some photographs feature the abandoned Oxford Arms on Warwick Lane, and some prints feature the falling and ruin of the New Brunswick Theatre. Several prints depict the burnings of theaters, including the Covent Garden Theatre (also known as the Royal Opera House) and Haymarket Theatre, as well as a 1763 riot at Covent Garden Theatre. The images of theaters depict: the Adelphi buildings, Astley’s Amphitheatre, Covent Garden Theatre (Royal Opera House), Cremorne Gardens, Drury Lane Theatre, Drury Lane Theatre Royal, Duke’s Theatre, Globe Theatre (new and old), Haymarket Theatre, Haymarket Theatre Royal, Her Majesty’s Theatre, King’s Theatres, New Brunswick Theatre Oxford Arms, Queen’s Theatre, Ranelagh Gardens, Royal Circus Theatre, Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Sans Pareil Theatre, Surrey Theatre, Vauxhall Gardens, and many more.

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, posters, and photographs have been collected over time.


Oversized materials are arranged in an alphabetical run by theater name. Boxed materials are loosely arranged in alphabetical order.

Physical Location

b, pfd (P1.C3.05.07 - P1.C3.05.09 [Folders 1-120]), ppf (P1.C3.05.10 [Folders 121-130])

Immediate Source of Acquisition

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

Related Materials

For further images of theaters, see: TCS 54-59, Harvard Theatre Collections on New York, Boston, United States, provincial Great British, Paris, and international theaters.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2019 January.

Harvard Theatre Collection. Harvard Theatre Collection on London theaters, 1616-1967 (bulk 1751-1875) (TCS 53): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2019 January 15
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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