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Theater performances photographs

Finding aid


Perkins School for the Blind, Collector

Date range: 


Call number:  



This collection consists of photographs documenting theater productions performed by Perkins students from 1898-1954. 


1.5 linear foot in 2 half-size manuscript cases, two 1/2″ O-Ring Preservation Box Albums, and one drop-front box for oversized materials.



Processed by: 

Jen Hale, 2022.

Processing notes:

Prior to 2023 this collection was originally part of the Photographs in the Archives Collection.

Historical note: 

Perkins students performed plays because it was believed that theatrical experience provided an educational benefit. Casts were all-male or all-female until 1913. The English teacher, Jessica L. Langworthy, was responsible for directing many of the plays in the late 1890s-1910s. During this time period, many of the plays were performed for the benefit of either the Kindergarten for the Blind, the Howe Memorial Club, or the World War I effort. There were also many performances that combined music, theater, and recitation. The Howe Memorial Club’s group activities include theatrical performances taken from books. 

Sources of information:

AG37 Perkins Music and Theater Programs, and Other Material Collection. Perkins School for the Blind Archives, Watertown, MA.


The Perkins Archives reserves the right to deny physical access to materials available in a digital format. 


It is the responsibility of the user to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright (the institution, the creator of the record, the author or their transferees, heirs, legates, or literary executors). The user agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Perkins School for the Blind, its officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims made by any person asserting that he or she is an owner of copyright. 

Credit line/citation:

AG207 Theater Performances Photographs. Perkins School for the Blind Archives, Watertown, MA.

Scope and contents: 

This collection of photographs documents theater performances put on by the Perkins School for the Blind students from 1898-1949. About half of the collection is card-mounted photographs and the other half is photographic prints. Many of the photographs include the names of the performances and dates they were performed. Many of these photographs were used in newspaper stories promoting the performances which were open to the public.

Content warning: 

Perkins School for the Blind Archives acknowledges that our historical collections may contain harmful imagery and language. Because harmful content documents attitudes and prejudices of the time in which they were made, we make this content available. It is our intention to mitigate potential harm with content warnings and carefully considered language on content created by the Archives.

Box 1, “Cradle Songs from Many Nations” album contains harmful imagery including non-native students wearing Native American costumes with redface.  


5 boxes arranged by type of format and then chronologically within. Photographic prints arranged in albums. Box five contains oversized photographs.

Container list:

Series 1

Box 1: Photograph album

Features German, French, Dutch, Japanese, American, Russian, Scotch, Italian, Native American, and Swedish groups in costume.

B1:F1: Cradle Songs from Many Nations, album, Feb 22, 1898.

Series 2

Box 2: Card-mounted photographs 1898-1901

  • B2:F1: Progress of America, 1898
  • B2:F2: Masque of Pandora,1899
  • B5:F1: Masque of Pandora, 1899 [Oversize]
  • B2:F3: Alice in Wonderland, 1901
  • B2:F4: Dido, 1901
  • B2:F5: As You Like It, 1904

Series 3 

Box 3: Photographic prints 1903-1915

  • B3:F1: Unidentifed Performances 
  • B5:F2: Alice in Wonderland, 1901 [Oversize]
  • B3:F2: Henry VIII, 1903
  • B5:F3: Henry the VIII, 1903 [Oversize]
  • B5:F4: Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1903 [Oversize]
  • B3:F3: The Rose and the Ring, 1911
  • B3:F4: Midsummer Night’s Dream, 1911
  • B3:F5: Twelfth Night, 1912
  • B3:F6: Twelfth Night, 1913
  • B3:F7: Little Women, 1914
  • B3:F8: Rebecca from Sunnybrook Farm 1914
  • B3:F9: As You Like It, 1915

Box 4: Photographic prints 1925-1954

  • B4:F1: As You Like It, 1925
  • B4:F2: Robinhood, 1936
  • B4:F3: You Can’t Take it With You, 1937
  • B4:F4: Merchant of Venice, 1938
  • B4:F5: Caesar and Cleopatra, 1939
  • B4:F6: Once there was a Princess, 1939
  • B4:F7: Twelfth Night, 1940
  • B4:F8: Pirates of Penzance, 1941
  • B4:F9: The Music Master, 1944
  • B4:F9: Rumplestiltskin, 1948
  • B4:F10: Hansel and Gretel, 1949
  • B4:F11: Patience, 1949
  • B4:F12: Sunday Excursion”, 1954

Related collections:


Perkins School for the Blind

Subject headings: 

  • Perkins School for the Blind.
  • Perkins School for the Blind–History.
  • Theater.
  • Drama in education.

Existence and location of copies

Links to digitized reproductions of the collection are available on the Theater Collection Album on the Perkins Archives Flickr site.

Explore more resources from the Archives

Learn more about our collections, including digitized materials, and resources related to the history of Perkins School for the Blind and the history of education for people with blindness or deafblindness.