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MS Thr 496

Letters and manuscripts of Fanny Elssler, Marie and Paul Taglioni, and others, 1831-1882: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Thr 496
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Letters and manuscripts of Fanny Elssler, Marie and Paul Taglioni, and others,
Date(s): 1831-1882 and undated.
Quantity: 1 collection (.3 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in French, German, and English.
Abstract: Letters and manuscripts concerning ballet in the 19th century, especially letters from Marie Taglioni, Fanny Elssler, and Paul Taglioni.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2006TW-138. Deposit of John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward; received by Department of Printed Books: 2006 October 3. Transferred to Manuscripts 2006 December 8.


From the collection of John Milton Ward. John Milton Ward was the Harvard University William Powell Professor of Music, Emeritus, and Honorary Curator of Dance and Music for the Theatre in the Harvard College Library.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt, with the assistance of Morris Levy and Irina Klyagin.
Translations and transcriptions of these letters and manuscripts were received with this collection. This material was collated by item number, then removed to the curatorial file.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Letters and Manuscripts of Fanny Elssler, Marie and Paul Taglioni, and Others, 1831-1882 (MS Thr 496). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University

Related Materials

See also the John Milton and Ruth Neils Ward Collection of the Harvard Theatre Collection itemized in the HOLLIS database. The collection is comprised of thousands of books, scores, librettos, playbills, illustrations, and ephemera relating to public performances that incorporate music in an essential way, such as ballet, opera, social dance, pantomime, operetta, and burlesque.

Biographical / Historical

Fanny Elssler (1810-1884) was Viennese dancer, one of the most celebrated ballerinas of the 19th century. She introduced the polka to the United States during her tour in 1840-1842.
Marie Taglioni (1804-1884) was an Italian dancer, born in Stockholm, daughter of choreographer Filippo Taglioni, and sister of dancer and choreographer Paul Taglioni. She became one of the legendary Romantic ballerinas of the 19th century.
Paul Taglioni (1808-1884) was a German dancer and ballet master, born in Vienna, the son of choreographer Filippo Taglioni, and the brother of ballerina Marie Taglioni. For a time he danced with his sister Marie, then served as ballet master to leading opera houses in Vienna, London, Naples, and Milan. In 1856 he became ballet master of the Berlin Court Opera, and remained in Berlin until his death in 1884.


Arranged into the following two series:

Scope and Contents

Primarily letters from Fanny Elssler, Marie Taglioni, and Paul Taglioni to various others concerning family, social, and professional topics, especially the ballet. Also includes: photomechanical clipping image of Fanny Elssler; postcard portrait of Marie Taglioni; letters from others concerning the Taglioni family; autobiographical manuscript note by Louis Jacques Jessé Milon; a manuscript poem, "Ihr," by Graf Anton Prokesch von Osten for Friedrich von Gentz to present to Fanny Elssler; and other manuscripts.

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