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MS Thr 584

Chickering, Elmer, photographer. Elmer Chickering photographs of "Chiquita" Espiridiona Cenda, circa 1890-1920: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: Harvard Depository
Call No.: MS Thr 584
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Chickering, Elmer, photographer.
Title: Elmer Chickering photographs of "Chiquita" Espiridiona Cenda,
Date(s): 1890-1920.
Quantity: 1 collection (.25 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Cabinet photographs of dwarf performer "Chiquita" Espiridiona Cenda.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession number. Source and date unknown.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but 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.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Elmer Chickering Photographs of "Chiquita" Espiridiona Cenda, circa 1890-1920 (MS Thr 584). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Alize Espiridiona Cenda del Castillo was a 26 inch-tall dwarf, who was born in 1869 either in Cuba or Mexico, and died in 1928, 1939 or 1945 (sources disagree). She was a vaudeville artist who traveled in side or freak shows across the United States during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She was also known as "Chiquita", "The living doll", "The Cuban atom," "Mrs. Anthony C. Woeckner," and "Alice Zenda." She first came to the United States with Frank Charles Bostock (1866-1912), the animal trainer and menagerie proprietor. Cenda sang, danced, and acted, and was known for riding a bicycle. She spoke and sang in Italian, Spanish and English. Chiquita is a 2008 novel by Antonio Orlando Rodriguez based on the life of Cenda.


Arranged alphabetically by title.

Scope and Contents

Portraits and group portraits of the entertainer, Chiquita. Includes 40 cabinet photographs and 1 photomechanical print. All cabinet card photographs are by Elmer Chickering Photographic Studio, Boston.
Images of Chiquita with others include her manager, Frank Charles Bostock.


This collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.

Container List