About The Harvard Theatre Collection
Founded in 1901, the Harvard Theatre Collection is one of the oldest and largest performing arts collections in the world. A department of Houghton Library, its holdings chiefly consist of primary source material related to all genres of performance, with special emphasis on the stage, music and dance, and popular entertainment. The collection includes a significant number of organizational and personal papers as well as photographic archives which preserve the legacies of institutions, playwrights, actors, designers, and choreographers. Formats of material include books, manuscripts, ephemera, realia, and audiovisual material. For a more detailed description, see the Theatre Collection website.
Because items in the Theatre Collection are rare or unique, additional rules are in place to ensure the security and preservation of the collection. Most notably, researchers cannot enter the stacks, and collection material can only be used in the Houghton Library Reading Room.
Related Collections at Harvard
- Widener and Lamont Libraries hold the majority of secondary sources related to performance.
- Other departments of Houghton Library hold material related to performance, including papers of playwrights and printed editions of theatrical works.
- Loeb Music Library holds both secondary and primary sources related to musical performance.
- The Fine Arts Library holds visual material related to performance.
- The Frances Loeb Library of the Harvard University Graduate School of Design holds material related to theatre architecture and design.
- The Harvard Film Archive holds audiovisual material from around the world and from almost every period in film history.