Historic New England awards annual Prize for Collecting Works on Paper

Nov 6, 2018

The 2018 prize is awarded to Donna L. Halper and Laurence Senelick. These collections showcase the history of broadcasting in New England and theatrical performance in the United States.


Donna Halper, a professor at Lesley University and a media historian, has amassed a collection of letters, promotional pieces, photographs, magazines, books, and other memorabilia related to the history of broadcasting and pioneering men and women who worked in the early days of the radio and television industry. Halper’s collection contains a significant amount of rare memorabilia. She shares the collection through articles and books about media history as well as public presentations at libraries and historical societies.

Laurence Senelick, a professor at Tufts University, has amassed a collection of theatrical imagery that is one of the largest private holdings about the history of performance. The collection contains portraits, publicity material, souvenirs, pictures of theater building interiors and exteriors, trade cards, early photographs, and more. There is a special emphasis on dramatic theater, circus, vaudeville, music hall, and opera, with particularly strong representation from 1650 to 1940. Items from his collection have been used to illustrate reference books and are often consulted by researchers, museums, and theaters.

About the Prize for Collecting Works on Paper

This is the ninth annual Prize for Collecting Works on Paper. Historic New England established the prize to honor one or more collectors or dealers each year who have assembled or helped save significant collections related to New England or the nation as a whole.

Join us to celebrate

The awards will be presented at the Lyman Estate in Waltham, Mass., on November 19 at 6:00 p.m. The event includes a reception, remarks, and a book signing. Books are available for purchase. Please call 617-994-6679 or email [email protected] to RSVP.