In addition to working designs, Harvard libraries collect representational drawings and paintings, caricature, photography, sculptures and other forms of original artwork. These works can be useful in reconstructing costuming and staging, but as with visual prints their context should be taken into account. They may be idealized or stylized rather than purely documentary.
Searching for Artwork
Some pieces are individually cataloged in HOLLIS, while others are part of archival collections and described in finding aids instead. Many pieces are not currently described at all, so it can be useful to speak with staff about your research project.
To search HOLLIS for individually cataloged items, go to the Advanced Search page. Select Library Catalog from the Search for: options. You might try searching for the format of the artwork you're looking for in the first search box, and then a search term related to your topic, such as a production title, in the second search box.
This kind of search will often bring back secondary sources rather than original artwork. You can further limit your search by setting the Resource type to either Images for two-dimensional artwork, or Objects for three-dimensional artwork. Because pieces are often part of archival collections, it is also useful to run a search limiting the Resource type to Archives / Manuscripts