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MS Thr 875

Cavness, Bill, collector. Bill Cavness collection of Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) audio and video recordings and ephemera, 1986-1989: 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 875
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Cavness, Bill, collector.
Title: Cavness, Bill, collector. Bill Cavness collection of Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) audio and video recordings and ephemera,
Date(s): 1986-1989.
Quantity: 1 collection (3 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Video and audio recordings, a script, and printed ephemera relating to the Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.).

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2006MT-32r. Gift of Bradford Connor, (from the collection of William Cavness, WGBH); received: 2001 September.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.
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.

Special Equipment Required for Access:

Special equipment or surrogate required; consult Houghton Public Services.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Bill Cavness Collection of Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.) Audio and Video Recordings and Ephemera, 1980-1989 (MS Thr 875). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

The Poets' Theatre was first established by a group of poets living in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the fall of 1950. Their objective was to revive poetic drama and generate work by poets who "would act, administrate, direct, and sell tickets, while retaining total control of their own writing." In 1968 the theater building on Palmer Street burned down and the original Poets' Theatre ended. In October of 1986, a celebration was held in the Agassiz Theatre in Cambridge to memorialize the Poets' Theatre, called by Edward Gorey, a nostalgic "wake." The Poets' Theatre was revived on September 24, 1987 with An entertainment at the Kennedy Library. This collection primarily concerns this later organization.
Bill Cavness [William Cavness] was a host of WGBH radio 89.7FM in Boston. From 1955 to 1991, Bill Cavness was the voice of WGBH Radio. He hosted many live broadcasts including numerous classical music programs, and from 1958 to his retirement in 1991, he produced and hosted a daily weekday program, called Reading Aloud.


Organized into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Collection includes: printed ephemera relating to productions of the Poets' Theatre (Cambridge, Mass.); media of these productions including Betacam (TM) videotapes, an audiocassette, and 2 digital audio tapes; and a script for 26 bars. Productions include: 26 bars, An evening with Joseph Brodsky, An evening with Richard Wilbur, Liam Clancy & friends in concert, Under Milk Wood, Sister & Miss Lexie, and The T. S. Eliot centennial.


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

Container List