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MS Thr 897

Playbills and posters concerning magic, 1800-1936: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: pf, ppf
Call No.: MS Thr 897
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Playbills and posters concerning magic,
Date(s): 1800-1936.
Quantity: 1 collection (2 boxes and 43 ppf folders (1.5 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English. A few in German.
Abstract: Playbills, posters, advertisements, programs, periodicals, etc... concerning magic and related entertainment.

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. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Playbills and Posters Concerning Magic, 1800-1936 (MS Thr 897). Houghton Library, Harvard University.


Arranged alphabetically by name of performer, or title. Oversized materials are at end.

Scope and Contents

Collection topics concern entertainment related primarily to magicians performing in the United States and England (plus a few outside of these areas), but also include ventriloquists, "fire kings", dwarfs, necromancers, illusionists, mesmerists, phrenologists, jugglers, and others. Materials are mainly playbills and posters, but also include some advertisements, programs, periodicals, postcards, clippings, lithographic portraits, a letterhead, and an etching. Playbills include "true" playbills (long sheets, printed on only one side) and also printed advertisements, and programs (printed on both sides).
Prominent names associated with this collection are: Alexander Herrmann, Lieut. Walter Cole, John Nevil Maskelyne and George Alfred Cooke, Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin, and many others, including a poster from the Zirkus Busch signed by Harry Houdini in 1916.

Container List