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MS Thr 911

American outdoor drama and pageant collection, 1909-1993: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard College Library


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College

Last update on 2014 December 5

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
Location: Harvard Depository, ppf
Note: Thes majority of this collection is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. See access restrictions below for additional information.
Call No.: MS Thr 911
Title: American outdoor drama and pageant collection,
Date(s): 1909-1993.
Quantity: 6 linear feet (12 boxes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Printed materials from productions of outdoor drama in the United States.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Acquisition Information:

No accession number. Sources unknown, dates unknown.

Access Restrictions:

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

American Outdoor Drama and Pageant Collection, 1909-1993 (MS Thr 911). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Historical Note

Outdoor drama is a type of historical play, set outdoors, often on the very site depicted in the account. It usually combines music, dance, and drama in a unique way to tell the story. It is most like historical pageantry performed in Europe in the Middle Ages and the best known example being the Passionplay at Oberammergau, Germany. Many big, spectacular stage events called pageants became popular in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th-centuries. These pageants showed a series of scenes in which historical events followed one another. The Lost Colony, by American playwright Paul Green, was produced in 1937 and is considered the oldest outdoor historical symphonic drama in the United States.


Organized alphabetically by name of state, then by producer or title. General and oversized items are at end.

Scope and Content

Includes materials primarily relating to outdoor symphonic drama, but also includes a few historical pageants. Includes programs, fliers, photographs of productions, photographic postcards, color slides, clippings, press kits, press releases, ticket stubs, window card, bumper stickers, correspondence, transparencies, songbooks, and printed script (documents). Collection has materials for a great many productions written by Paul Green, some by Kermit Hunter, a small Joseph Lindon Smith collection, as well as many others.

Container List