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Major Collections: Treasures of the Theatrical Arts


The Theatre Division is a unique public repository for the documents of theatre, past and present. Officially named the Billy Rose Theatre Division in 1979 in recognition of a major gift from The Billy Rose Foundation, the Division has assembled its vast holdings through purchase, original documentation, and generous gifts from theatrical organizations and individuals. Major collections housed in the archive include:

  • Robinson Locke Collection: scrapbooks of stage and film personalities, 1870–1920
  • George Becks Collection: scripts and promptbooks, 18th–19th centuries
  • David Belasco Collection: over 6,000 items from the estate of producer and playwright David Belasco
  • Hiram Stead Collection: playbills and prints of British theatre, 17th–20th centuries
  • Henin Collection: costume designs, set designs, and scrapbooks of the Parisian stage, 17th–19th centuries
  • Chamberlain and Lyman Brown Collection: records of the theatrical agency including scrapbooks, correspondence, and business files, 1910–61
  • White Studio Collection: stage photographs, 1910–36
  • Vandamm Studio Collection: stage photographs, 1920–60
  • Universal Pictures Still Books; movie stills, 1920s–present
  • Radio Writers Guild: membership correspondence and records
  • Townsend Walsh Collection: circus and vaudeville, 19th–20th centuries
  • Personal papers of designers, such as Jo Mielziner, Donald Oenslager, and Boris Aronson; directors, such as A. J. Antoon and Harold Clurman; authors, such as Clifford Odets, Michael Stewart, John Van Druten, and Betty Comden and Adolph Green; producers, such as Cheryl Crawford, Maurice Evans, and Harold Prince; and performers, such as Montgomery Clift and Gypsy Rose Lee