American museum with a theatre collection, including puppets, established in the Pusey Library of Harvard University (Cambridge, Massachusetts) since 1976.

The Harvard Theatre Collection, enriched by donations made between 1940 and 2000, includes over 700 puppets. There are over 700 books on puppetry and 400 puppet plays in Czech. Papers and letters of Edward Gordon Craig, Robert Edmund Jones, Bread and Puppet Theater, and American Repertory Theatre all have puppetry related material. The collection has over 2,000 toy theatre (also called paper theatre) sheets, and posters, programmes, and some scripts.

South East Asia and the Far East are well represented. The Harvard collection includes: 300 Chinese shadows, 124 miniature puppets from Java, over 200 from Java and Bali, 7 Vietnamese puppets, 6 from Japan; Europe is represented by 8 Greek shadows, and 2 marionettes by William Addison Dwiggins.

The Ralph C. McGoun collection of puppets and masks donated in 1986 includes about 140 items: Italian glove puppets, Greek shadow figures, miniature Sicilian rod marionettes, Turkish shadows, puppets from Tunisia, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and toy theatres.

The collection includes 80 marionettes (string puppets) by Dr Peter Arnott (1931-1990), author of Plays without People (1964), created for his productions of ancient Greek theatre.

In 2005, the curator was Fredric Woodbridge Wilson.

(See United States of America.)


  • Dirks, Phyllis T, ed. American Puppetry: Collections, History, and Performance. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Co., 2004. (Articles by Fredric Woodbridge Wilson and Annette Fern.)