Theatre Archive, U of Texas, Austin
On behalf of the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at the University of Texas at Austin, I would like to take this opportunity to invite you to explore our extensive collections in the performing arts and hope to welcome you to our institution. We are in the process of reorganizing our website in an effort to better describe our holdings, but in the meantime, please see the list of highlights below as well as opportunities for research fellowships and public programming.
Theater Biography Collection
The massive Theater Biography Collection (over 500 linear feet) is a growing collection that documents the careers of British and American performing arts figures. It is an artificial collection assembled by collectors and performing arts staff. The collection is organized in three series: I. Performers, II. Authors and Production Personnel, and III. Composites, Unidentified, and Non-theater Related. A searchable database includes over 11,000 entries for the Biography Collection and over 5,500 entries for the Performing Arts Card Photograph Collection. http://norman.hrc.utexas.edu/BioFile/
Ballet Russes Costumes, Richard Buckle, Mary McLarry Bywaters, James Clouser, Marquis George de Cuevas, Dance Costume Collection, Fred Fehl Dance Photographs, Joffrey Ballet Collection, Lincoln Kierstein Scrapbooks, May O’Donnell Collection, Giovanni Vittorio Rosi, Rhonda Winter Russell, Ruth St. Denis’ Radha
Playwrights and Composers
Maxwell Anderson, Samuel Beckett, David Hare, Lillian Hellman, Alfred Jarry, Adrienne Kennedy, David Mamet, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, John Osborne, George Bernard Shaw, Sam Shepard, Tom Stoppard, Oscar Wilde, Tennessee Williams
Frith Banbury, John Russell Brown, Harold Clurman, Augustin Daly, Harley Granville-Barker, Joan Littlewood, Edward Mangum, B. Iden Payne, Konstantin Stanislavsky
Stella Adler, Wilson Barrett, Sarah Bernhardt, Edwin Booth, Chris Castor, Charles Dibdin Family, Robert Downing, Edith Evans, Spalding Gray, Burl Ives, Ada Rehan, J. Scott Smart, Laurette Taylor, Virginia Vernon, Roland Young
Boris Aronson, B.J. Simmons Costume Co., Norman Bel Geddes, Edith Lutyens Bel Geddes, Gordon Conway, Edward Gordon Craig, Eldon Elder, L. & H. Nathan Costume Designs, James Newton
Music, Musical Theater, and Opera
Merle Armitage Scrapbooks, The Black Crook Collection, Concert Programs Collection, Patrice Munsel, Musicians Collection, Opera Collection, Irra Petina, Sheet Music Collection, John Philip Sousa, Jule Styne, Arnold Sundgaard, Fred Waring
Al Emmett Fostell Papers, George C. Howard and Family Collection, Minstrel Show Collection, Uncle Tom’s Cabin Collection
Vaudeville, Magic, and Circus
Barnum & Bailey Collection, Chautauqua Collection, Chauve-Souris Collection, Circus Collection, Circus Costume Collection, Harry Houdini, Magicians Collection, Music Hall Collection, Tony Pastor, Joe E. Ward Circus Collection, “Sliding” Billy Watson
Photographers and Artists
Joseph Abeles, Fred Fehl, Bob Golby, Al Hirschfeld, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Prints Collection, Poster Collection, Production Photo Collection
Critics, Managers, Companies, Misc.
Donald Albery, Max Beerbohm, Donald Wolfit Shakespeare Co., Audrey Wood, Florenz Ziegfeld, Opera Collection, Pantomime Collection, Playbills & Programs Collection, Puppetry Collection
The Harry Ransom Center also holds a large collection of early and rare books, which can be searched through the library’s catalogue by limiting the Location Search to the Harry Ransom Center. (http://catalog.lib.utexas.edu)
The Harry Ransom has digitized several of its collections in the performing arts, and more are added regularly. Current collections include our papers of Oscar Wilde, selections from the Fred Fehl Dance Photography collection, ten scrapbooks from the Harry Houdini Collection, selections of posters and playbills from our Magic and Circus collections, and some of the glass plate negatives in our performing arts collection. Upcoming collections will include our materials relating to The Black Crook, one of our three Shakespeare first folios, and John Wilkes Booth’s promptbook for Richard III. The Digital Collections Portal can be accessed at: http://hrc.contentdm.oclc.org/
The Harry Ransom Center offers over 70 research fellowships a year, including fellowships to doctoral students and independent scholars. The deadline for applications in January 15, 2016, 5pm CST. Applicants are encouraged to contact Ransom Center staff regarding their projects prior to submitting their application for assistance on identifying relevant collections. For more information visit: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/research/fellowships/application/
Exhibition: Shakespeare in Print & Performance
This exhibition provides insight into the development of Shakespeare’s works, the history of their publication and performance, the manner in which the texts have been studied on the page, and the plays interpreted on the stage. The Elizabethan world of Shakespeare and his contemporaries is presented through early printed books documenting his contemporary reputation, his textual sources, and his plays. Costume and set designs, promptbooks, and other ephemera showcase the variety of ways artists have translated his plays into performance. The exhibit will run December 21, 2015 – May 29, 2016: http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibitions/upcoming/
For general reference queries or to schedule appointments, contact performingarts. For in-depth questions regarding the Harry Ransom Center’s performing arts collections, contact me at eric.colleary or feel free to track me down at the upcoming ASTR conference in Portland. For questions specifically regarding the logistics of the fellowship program or the application, please contact ransomfellowships.
I look forward to hopefully welcoming you to the Harry Ransom Center in the future, and if I can be of assistance, please do let me know.
All the very best,
Eric Colleary, PhD
Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts
Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin, TX 78713-7219