The Harvard Theatre Collection is one of the largest performing arts collections in the world, and the oldest theatre collection in the world of international significance. As well as a vast collection of ephemera related to theatrical endeavors worldwide – rare books, manuscripts, prompt books, letters, contracts and documents, musical scores, original scene and costume designs, portraits, drawings, engravings and prints, caricatures, albums and extra-illustrated books, and audio and visual recordings, together with vast collections of programs and playbills, posters, play texts and libretti, engravings and prints, photographs, and sheet music, as well as figurines, medals and tokens, tickets and passes, souvenirs, personal artifacts and memorabilia, and extensive files of clippings, articles and pamphlets – the Collection also houses materials from student theater at Harvard. From their materials:
“Special consideration has always been given to theatrical material that has a local connection. The Theatre Collection is well established as the “collection of record” for theatre in Boston and New England, and already houses archives of a number of student theatrical organizations (such as the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club and the Hasty Pudding Theatricals), local institutions founded from within the Harvard community (such as the Poets’ Theatre), affiliated producing companies (such as the American Repertory Theatre), the work of many Harvard alumni in the performing arts, and the records of many historical Boston-area theatres and performing organizations.”
A guide to using the Harvard Theatre Collection can be found here. Please contact the Historian if you are interested in the Collection but aren’t sure where to start.
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