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Henry Y. Porter Theater Memorabilia Collection

Call Number: MS003

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Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of photographs, scrapbooks, cartes de visite, and cabinet card photo album depicting various theater and musical personalities primarily from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Also included are photographs, prints, and clippings of various political, military, and judicial figures, from the 1800s to the 1980s. There are an estimated 10,000 images. The primary focus of the collection is people involved in music, theater, opera, and government.

Porter classified the bulk of the photos by subject and date, and includes handwritten tables of contents for many of the albums. Additionally, there are scrapbooks of obituaries of people represented in the collection.

Porter purchased much of the material from antiques dealers and from auctions.


  • Majority of material found within 1890 -- 1950
  • 1722 -- 1999


Language of Materials



This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish.

Any intellectual property rights that the donor possessed have not been transferred to Tufts University.


This collection is organized into six series: Artists and other celebrities; Olive Fremstad; Scrapbooks, playbills, and programs; Obituary scrapbooks; Phonograph recordings; Political, military, and judicial figures.


59.95 Linear Feet

4 Volumes

4 Digital Object(s)

Biographical / Historical

Henry Y. Porter (c.1890-c.1950) was employed by Tufts University as an accountant for many years. He was an active collector of theater, opera, and political memorabilia and portraits.

Custodial History

This collection was given to Tufts in 1986 by Porter's estate.

Processing Information

This collection was previously mixed in with other theatre related papers such the Arthur W. Row, Frank E. Fowle and Max Tennis papers, each now a separate collection of their own. Porter was very clear in labeling his collection with a stamp of his name. Every effort has been made to assign materials previously lumped into the Porter Collection to its proper home, either Porter, Row, Fowle, or Tennis' papers.

Processing status

This collection is partially processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States