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Research in the Billy Rose Theatre Division: Digital Collections

A guide to assist finding and using materials in the Billy Rose Theatre Division

NYPL Digital Collections

Many digitized materials from the Billy Rose Theatre Division are available to view in Digital Collections.

Visit to browse or check out some of our highlighted collections below.

Notable Photograph Collections

Friedman-Abeles Photograph Collection
38,000+ items. The collection contains work from the partnership of Leo and Sy Friedman and Joseph Abeles, together the pre-eminent firm documenting Broadway theater productions from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Martha Swope Photographs
58,000+ items. The collection contains work from the internationally acclaimed performing arts photographer Martha Swope of theatre and dance in New York City between 1955 and 2002.

Vandamm Theatrical Photographs
3,300+ items. The collection contains work from the studio of Florence Vandamm, who comprehensively documented Broadway theater productions from the 1920s through the early 1960s.

General Photographs: Personalities
32,000+ photographs of individual performers and other stage, film, radio and television figures. Images from the 1860s through the 2000s.

Notable Design Collections

Jo Mielziner designs and technical drawings and Jules Fisher collection of Jo Mielziner designs and technical drawings
350 color sketches and drawings by the Broadway set designer who worked on productions from the 1920s-1970s, including Carousel, Death of a Salesman, The King and I, South Pacific, and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Patricia Zipprodt papers and designs
200+ images from costume bibles and individual designs by the Tony-winning costume designer of Fiddler on the Roof.

Willa Kim designs
50+ color sketches by the Korean-American costume designer who designed for theatre and dance from the 1940s through the 1990s. Items digitized are from more recent shows such as Besame, Bouquets, and Busker Alley.

Notable Full-Text Scripts

Fully digitized, e-readable versions of some of the theatre scripts and Shakespeare promptbooks in our collection. Many are annotated with blocking, cues, drawings, and other personalizations by the actor or stage manager. Titles include:

  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1910) adapted by Nelson Compston from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.
  • Green Grow the Lilacs (1931) by Lynn Riggs. This play became the basis for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!
  • Hamlet (1906) by William Shakespeare. This promptbook, one of several digitized versions of Hamlet, belonged to set designer Robert Edmond Jones.
  • The Shadow of a Doubt (1901) by Edith Wharton. Her only play, this is one of only three known copies of the unpublished typescript. The production was canceled before it opened on Broadway.

Reference Librarians

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Billy Rose Theatre Division Reference Librarians
40 Lincoln Center Plaza (65th St and Columbus Ave)
Third Floor
New York, NY 10023
(212) 870-1639
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