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Jerome Robbins Collections: Restrictions Apply

A guide to the collections and other materials related to Jerome Robbins.

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Jerome Robbins in costume from Fancy Free. Credit: Alfredo Valente, 1944. 

Jerome Robbins, no. 200, Jerome Robbins Dance Division Photography Files, NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID 57510568. 

Collections with Restrictions

Jerome Robbins Papers, *MGZMD 130 (Partially Restricted)

These papers focus on the professional life of Jerome Robbins, and include correspondence, scripts, production materials, scores, and financial information on Robbins theatrical productions, ballets, films, and television work, including Bells are Ringing, Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, Gypsy, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, The King and I, Mother Courage and Her Children, Oh, Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, On the Town, Peter Pan, West Side Story, the Ford 50th Anniversary Television Show, and others. The collection also includes materials on some unproduced projects, including Exception and the Rule, The Office, and his autobiographical work Poppa Piece. In addition, correspondence and working files for Robbins' work with the dance companies Ballets: U.S.A., American Ballet Theatre, and the New York City Ballet and others, the Festival of Two Worlds (Spoleto, Italy), the experimental American Theatre Laboratory, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, and his personal properties can be found in the collection.

Boxes 90-122 contain materials related to unproduced works and so are unable to be accessed or photographed without permission from the Robbins Rights Trust. Access and photography are treated as separately granted permissions.

Jerome Robbins Personal Papers *MGZMD 182 (Restricted)

The personal papers of Jerome Robbins (1923-2000 and undated) primarily document his life from 1931-1998 and consist of material on his careers as a dancer, producer, and choreographer in the fields of ballet, television, Broadway theater, and Hollywood films. Some of the types of items found within this collection are account ledgers, agendas, audit lists, awards, casting documents, choreographic notes, clippings, correspondence, costume information, cue sheets, general ledgers, income tax materials/payments, journals, lighting notes, notes, photographs, production materials, programs, research, scores, sketch/collage books, tour information, and writings. However, the vast majority of the collection is composed of correspondence, production materials, and writings. The few items found within this collection that postdate his life are connected to the research material collected on his life. For example, clippings and photographs concerning the performances of Robbins’ ballets until the year 2000 are within this collection (see boxes 27 and 28).

The entirety of the collection is restricted and requires permission to access or photograph. Please contact the Dance Division to begin the process of obtaining this permission from the Robbins Rights Trust. Note that, as above, access and photography are treated as separately granted permissions.

Jerome Robbins Collections of Graphic Works *MGZMD 134 (Appointment Only)

Jerome Robbins’ collection of graphic works includes over 200 drawings and paintings by Robbins himself, from the early 1930s through at least 1990, as well as by associates. Figure drawings and portrait sketches dominate Robbins artwork, but he also drew and painted landscapes, still lifes, abstracts, and costume and set designs.

The entirety of the collection requires an appointment to view. You must contact the Dance Division to schedule the appointment in Special Collections. 

Jerome Robbins Diaries *MGZMD 228 (Restricted and Appointment Only)

Handmade accordion style folding books with decorative covers contain handwritten diary entries written in colored pens and illustrated with drawings in pen and watercolor and collages of various ephemera pasted on including tickets, schedules, invitations, appointment memos, photos, postage stamps, clippings from newspapers and magazines, maps, leaves, flowers, feathers, and butterfly wings. The detailed entries document both the professional and personal life of Jerome Robbins.

The entire collection is restricted, and both the original diaries and copies of the diaries are available. Viewing of the original diaries requires both permission to access or photograph and an appointment to view. Viewing copies of the diaries requires permission to access or photograph. You must contact the Dance Division to schedule an appointment in Special Collections, if needed, and to begin the process of obtaining permission from the Robbins Rights Trust. Note that, as above, access and photography are treated as separately granted permissions.