Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 3281

Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library art collection


Contains artwork of various types primarily collected during the counter-culture movement with a focus on drugs, drugs use, sexual liberation, as well as some political artwork.


  • circa 1550-2007
  • Majority of material found within 1850-2000

Language of Materials

English, French, German.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research. A portion of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.


5 linear feet (18 flat boxes, 2 tube boxes)

Contains artwork of multiple varieties relating to drug culture, counterculture, sex, and various political movements, including including paintings, drawings, prints, signs, lobby cards and original posters, collage, photographs, and multimedia art. There are promotional original posters and advertisements as well as materials intended as decorative artworks. Many materials relate to the usage and trade of opium, including some eighteenth century prints and many nineteenth-century prints and clippings. Further materials include artworks including the portrayal of drug usage of other kinds, sexual intercourse, as well as some highly abstracted works. A single print by Andy Warhol is included.

Contains a variety of artwork, including paintings, drawings, prints, signs, lobby cards and original posters, collage, photographs, and multimedia art, all relating to counterculture, drug usage and culture, and/or sex. Included are promotional original posters and signs for performances and films, including those for Jane Mernac at the Apollo, the films Cocaine andMarihuana, the weed with roots in hell, and more. Events, including performances by the Groupe etat limite and an event entitled Oxy, are promoted via collage and original poster artwork, and there are signs and materials relating to Miss-Tic, advertisements for Atelier Galerie Attali, and a promotional original poster advertising Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band. All of these refer to events or performances by political groups and counterculture figures or performers. Materials also advertise products relating to drugs, including multiple prints and advertisements for Vin Mariani, a tonic medicine made from Bordeaux wine and coca leaves in the nineteenth century.

Multiple prints and drawings relating to the usage of opium are contained, from those depicting usage likely in China and Japan, to many in Western contexts, including those by Edouard Chimot and others. Several eighteenth-century prints relate to opium’s shipment to and sales in Europe, including La Pan Toufle Dedie a Monsieur Wistan… and an aquatint by E. Duncan after William J. Huggins, Opium Ships at Lintin in China, 1824, as well as a group of prints by Captain Allen showing explorations into the opium trade in 1794. A large grouping of prints and plates depicting opium in the nineteenth century, many of which are from British newspapers, are further inclusions relating to drug use. Several works also appear to be hallucinatory imagery based on experiences with psychadelics, such as P.M. Rivera’s Psychoactive Fungi Fantasy prints, as well as usage of drugs and alcohol, including a pastel by Numa Gillet of two women.

Materials relating to the legalization of marijuana and other drugs, including a series of fourteen Musee d’Horreur prints from Paris, France. Materials in this series also include those referring to politics and leftist movements, including a poster related to French workers during May 1968. There are some posters relating to the police, the Vietnam War, and other events and political movements of the 1960s and 1970s.

Sexual intercourse, including fellatio and cunnilinctus, is portrayed artistically in multiple formats, often including depictions of simultaneous drug use. There are multiple nude portraits of women, as well as some deeply abstracted depictions of the female form and an erotic alphabet.

Items relating more generally to late twentieth century culture are also included in this series, including a Campbell's Tomato Soup print by Andy Warhol, as well as fully abstract paintings and other works. Further materials related to the underground presses and counterculture includes original artwork for comics, mainly by artist Bill Burke, as well as original book cover art.

Biographical / Historical

The Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library is the world’s largest private collection of material on altered states of mind. The collection was formed by Julio Mario Santo Domingo Jr. (1957–2009), an investment advisor who resigned his business interests to devote himself to collecting.


Arranged in alphabetical order by title if known, or description of the artwork(s) if no title is available.

Physical Location

Harvard Depository, b

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2015M-85. Deposited by Julio Mario Santo Domingo III; received: 2012 April. Forms part of the Julio Mario Santo Domingo Collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Betts Coup, 2019.
Link to catalog
Santo Domingo, Julio Mario, collector. Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library art collection, circa 1550-2007 (inclusive), 1850-2000 (bulk) (MS Am 3281): Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard University.
2019 March 25
Description rules
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.

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