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Playbill.com is the preeminent site for theatre news, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regional listings, features articles and columns by and about theatre personalities, entertainment, travel, fashion, dining and other editorial pieces, and sales, discount ticket info, and advertising.
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, was founded in 1961 with a grant from the Ford Foundation to foster communication among professional, community, and university theatres. With over 700 Member Theatres and Affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individual members, TCG offers conferences, events, research, communications, and a popular jobs list.
history-of-theatre collections in libraries, archives, and museums
The Billy Rose Theatre Collection is one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive archives devoted to the theatrical arts. It includes personal papers and organizational records, scrapbooks, photographs, posters, programs, reviews, and scripts, as well as traditional books and journals about theatre.
The Harvard Theatre Collection, founded in 1901, was the first collection of its kind to be established in the U.S. It includes documentary material pertaining to the history of the performing arts: large numbers of rare books, manuscripts, prompt books, letters, contracts and documents, musical scores, original scene and costume designs, portraits, drawings, engravings and prints, caricatures, albums and extra-illustrated books, audio and visual recordings, vast collections of programs and playbills, posters, play texts and libretti, engravings and prints, photographs, and sheet music, figurines, medals and tokens, tickets and passes, souvenirs, personal artifacts and memorabilia, extensive files of clippings, articles and pamphlets, and a large number of archives of personal and organizational papers.
The Folger collection began in 1889 with oil executive Henry Folger's first purchase of a rare book. Folger and his wife Emily Jordan Folger spent decades gathering the world's largest Shakespeare collection, broadly defined to include Shakespeare's era as well. Today the library includes hundreds of thousands of items such as printed books from the 1400s to the present day; manuscripts from the late 13th century to the present; works of art including paintings, illustrations, and sculpture; items of performance history including playbills, prompt books, and costumes; more than 200 early quartos of Shakespeare plays; and 82 copies of the First Folio of 1623.
Collage: The London Picture Archive is one of London’s finest picture archives. Managed by London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), it provides free online access to over 250,000 images of London from the collections at LMA and Guildhall Art Gallery.
The Museum of the City of New York's Theater Collection documents theatrical activity in New York City from the late 18th century to the present day. Holdings include 17,000 folders documenting Broadway and Off-Broadway productions since the 1800s; original set and costume renderings by designers such as Alvin Colt, Miles White, Donald Oenslager, and Lucinda Ballard; posters and window cards that document trends in theatrical advertising; original scripts by Eugene O'Neill; a large collection of George M. Cohan’s annotated scripts and original orchestrations; personal papers of Mary Martin, Howard Dietz, Julia Marlowe, and E. H. Sothern; over 3,500 caricatures, drawings, and prints; and popular entertainment collections on burlesque, circus, minstrelsy, and vaudeville.
The Ringling Collection, in the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts at the University of Florida's Smathers Libraries, is comprised of cabinet cards, postcards, and photographs of American and British actors and actresses. It traces the history of stagecraft through Shakespearean prints, 18th, 19th and 20th century European and American handbills, posters and heralds, souvenir photographs and prints, numerous production and publicity stills of 20th century plays and films, and hundreds of individual photographs of performers.
The Sayre Collection at the University of Washington Libraries consists of more than 24,000 photographs of theatrical and vaudeville performers, musicians, and entertainers who played in Seattle between about 1900 and 1955 (some of the materials date back to the 1870s), collected by J. Willis Sayre, a drama critic, journalist, and promoter in Seattle.
The Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust (LHLT) functions as the official and authorized organization representing the writer Lorraine Hansberry. Their website includes information on all Hansberry's published and unpublished works, a large image gallery, and links to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, where the Lorraine Hansberry Papers are archived.
Professional job openings in the performing arts fields. Some information appears freely online, but researchers need to set up a personal account to access the full services of ARTSEARCH, such as jobs listings. As an institutional subscriber, UK Libraries can waive the individual subscription rate for UK researchers -- please email or call the Lucille Caudill Little Fine Arts Library at firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-257-2800 for information to set up your account.