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MS Thr 1028

Toy theater oversize prints, 1910-1977: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: ppf
Call No.: MS Thr 1028
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Toy theater oversize prints,
Date(s): 1910-1977 and undated.
Quantity: 1 collection (2 linear feet (5 drawers)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English, French, German, Czech, Spanish, and Danish.
Abstract: Toy theater materials from the United States, England, France, Germany, Spain, Austria, Denmark, and Czechoslovakia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

No accession numbers. Various sources, various dates.

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:

Toy Theater Oversize Prints, 1910-1977 (MS Thr 1028 ). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Toy theaters were especially popular as English children's toys in the first half of the 19th-century. They were also called paper theaters and model theaters. By the late 19th-century popularity waned and publishing of these materials declined. Individual character portrait prints known as "penny plains" and "twopence coloureds" were collected and often used in toy theaters, as were engraved prints of multiple characters and scenery. Performing scripts were written especially for children to be used with these materials.


Arranged by country of manufacture into the following series:

Scope and Contents

Some items are hand-colored originals and some are color-printed, modern reproductions. Most are undated. Includes all variety of large printed sheets (and a few that are small) for use in toy theaters, including backdrops, characters, costumes, wings, stages, curtains, set objects, prosceniums, pantin, portals, theater buildings, etc ... Also includes some text, some shadow puppet materials, and costume prints.

Container List