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New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center

Who May Use The Archive?

TOFT patrons must meet eligibility requirements which include theatre professionals, students, or researchers with work or study- related reasons for viewing. Also, all patrons must have and present a Library card. Children under 12 must be a member of Actors’ Equity and must be accompanied by an adult.

How Can I View A Videorecording?

Videorecordings may be viewed only on-site at the Library, one time only. Currently running shows are not available for viewing. Certain titles require advance permission to view, so it is advisable to call ahead. TOFT does not lend, copy, sell, or distribute any of the videorecordings physically or electronically in accordance with its contracts with the various theatre unions and guilds that permit videorecording of live theatrical productions.

  • Appointments: Advance appointments are available Tuesday through Saturday and can be made in person or by telephone at least one day in advance. Appointments are limited to five titles. Please call if you are running late. If you are more than 30 minutes late without a call, your monitor will be reassigned.
  • Walk-ins: Tuesday through Friday, walk-in screens are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, starting at 12:00 pm. Walk-in viewers are limited to three titles, and to a three hour time slot.
  • Saturdays: Walk-in monitors are not held on Saturdays, but we will take walk-in patrons on a first-come, first-serve basis if there have been cancellations.

The Lucille Lortel screening room has 24 monitors, which can be linked in any combination for simultaneous viewing, so more than one person can view a videorecording at the same time. When calling to make an appointment to view a title, please let the screening room staff know the number of people in your party. All viewers must have a valid reason for viewing and a Library card.

How Can I Find What I Want To See?

This information may be found in the Library's online Catalog. Please go to the Library’s website (www.nypl.org) and click on “Find Books, DVDs, and More.” From here you may search by author/title/keyword. The Classic Catalog offers additional search terms, such as subject and call number. Materials in TOFT are in the Non-Circulating Collection and begin with the call number NCOV, NCOX, or NCOW. To search only within TOFT, use the Advanced Search, enter a title or name, and select "Performing Arts Research TOFT" from the Locations drop down box. Please keep in mind that the complete TOFT catalog is not yet online; titles are added each week. If you cannot find a title, please feel free to call or e-mail TOFT (toft@nypl.org), and a staff member will be glad to assist you.