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Theater Resources in RBSC

We hold two major collections of drama: the Nisbet-Snyder Drama Collection, and the University Drama Collection.

The Nisbet-Snyder and University Drama collections combine to provide a collection of some 2,000 late 18th Century and 19th Century English and American plays, many of them acting copies or annotated prompt books. Included in this collection are also programs from the St. James Theatre in London from 1879-1888. These collections are in the process of being cataloged electronically; a paper finding aid is available; please ask for assistance in using this collection.

The Historic Scenic Collection (Chicago Civic Opera)

This collection contains the scenes, costumes, maquettes and archival material of the Chicago Civic Opera, reflecting the productions of the Opera for the period 1910-1931. It consists of production notebooks, programs, photographs, touring information, drawings, inventory records and funding lists, correspondence, expense records, design plates, pictorial source material, and miscellaneous. One-hundred and seventy-nine especially noteworthy production notebooks that reflect the productions of seventy-seven operas in great detail are part of this collection. This collection is the archival supplement to the Historic Scenic Collection held by the College of Visual and Performing Arts at NIU. Much of this material is unprocessed; please ask for assistance in using this collection or see the finding aids that follow.

The Historic Scenic Collection Archives is now open to researchers.

 

Early Theatrical materials from RBSC Collections

Shakespeare, William. Mr. William Shakespear's Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies. Faithfully reproduced in facsimile from the edition of 1623. London: Methuen & Co., 1910.
A facsimile of the First Folio Shakespeare. RBSC also owns facsimiles of the Second, Third, and Fourth Folios. Rare Oversize PR 2751 A15 1910

Jonson, Ben. The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. [Volume 1] London: Printed by William Stansby, 1616.
Rare Oversize PR 2600 C16
---. The Workes of Benjamin Jonson. [Volume the second].London: Printed for Richard Meighen, 1640.
Rare Oversize PR 2600 C40

Shakespeare, William,Warren, MichaelThe Complete King Lear, 1608-1623. Berkeley : University Of California Press, 1989. Rare Books Collection PR2819.A2 W37 1989a

Shakespeare, William, 1564-1616. The tempest, or The enchanted island. A comedy: as it is now acted at His Highness the Duke of York's theatre. London:Printed by J. Macock, for Henry Herringman ... 1676.
Rare Books Collection PR 2833 .A1 1676.
Signatures: A-L4, M² (M2, blank, wanting). Third edition of this alteration by Dryden and Sir William D'Avenant in quarto format.

Shadwell, Thomas, 1642?-1692. The tempest : or the enchanted island. A comedy. As it is now acted at Their Majesties theatre in Dorset-Garden. London: Printed by J.M. for H. Herringman ; and sold by R. Bentley, at the Post-House in Russel-street, Covent-Garden. 1690.
Rare Books Collection PR2833 .A1 1690
The text of Shadwell's opera, based on the Dryden-D'Avenant alteration of The tempest, with Dryden's preface, prologue and epilogue. cf. Montague Summer's "Shakespeare adaptations", Allardyce Nicoll's "Dryden as an adapter of Shakespeare." Without the music.

Congreve, William, 1670-1729. The works of Mr. William Congreve. London: Printed for Jacob Tonson, 1710.
Rare Books Collection PR 3360 .D10
Contents: The old batchelor.--The double dealer.--Love for love.--v.2. The mourning bride.--The way of the world.--The judgment of Paris.--Semele.--v.3. Poems upon several occasions.

Gay, John, 1685-1732. Plays... The captives, a tragedy. The Beggar's Opera. Polly, or The second part of the Beggar's Opersa. Achilles, an opera. The distress'd wife, a comedy. The rehearsal at Gotham, a farce: to which is prefixed An account of the life and writings of the author. London: Printed for W. Strahan [et al]., 1772.
Rare PR 3473 A1 1772.
This is a nice example of a posthumous collection of Gay's plays, including The Beggar's Opera and Polly.

Foote, Samuel. The Englishman in Paris. A Comedy in Two Acts. As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal in Covent-Garden. London: Printed for Paul Vaillant ... 1753.
Rare PR 3461 F6 A645 1753

University Drama and Nisbet-Snyder Drama Collections

The Nisbet-Snyder and University Drama collections combine to provide a collection of some 2,000 late 18th Century and 19th Century English and American plays, many of them acting copies or annotated prompt books. Included in this collection are also programs from the St. James Theatre in London from 1879-1888. These collections are in the process of being cataloged electronically; a paper finding aid is available; please ask for assistance in using this collection.

Godwin, William. Faulkener: A Tragedy. As it is Performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. London: Printed for Richard Phillips ... 1807.
University Drama Collection PN 6111 U558x no. 355

Colman, George and David Garrick. The Clandestine Marriage: A Comedy. As it is acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane. London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt ... 1766.
University Drama Collection PN 6111 U558x no. 362

Griffith, Mrs. Elizabeth. The School for Rakes: A Comedy. As it is performed at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane. The Second Edition. London: Printed for T. Becket and P.A. De Hondt ... 1769.
University Drama Collection PN 6111 U558x no. 356

Daly, Augustin. Leah, The Forsaken. A Play, in Five Acts. French's Standard Drama. The Acting Edition. No. 398. NY and London: Samuel French, [1862?]
Nisbet Snyder Collection PN 6111 N583x No. 499.

Oxenford, John, Esq. The Rape of the Lock: A Burletta in Two Acts. Printed from the Acting copy ... as originally performed at Madame Vestris's Royal Olympic Theatre. London: Published for the Proprietor by W. Strange...Turner and Fisher, New York and Philadelphia. [1838?].
Nisbet Snyder Collection PN 6111 N583x no. 1269

Hazlewood, C.H. Jenny Foster the Sailor's Child, or, The Winter Robin. In two acts. London: Thomas Hailes Lacy, [1856?].
Nisbet Snyder Drama Collection PR 4759 H8 J46 1870za

St. James' Theatre. [Programmes Sat. Oct. 4 1879 to Sat. July 21, 1888] London: J. Miles & Co., [1879-1888].
University Libraries Drama Collection. PN 6111 .U559x Suppl. List II Programs.

Covent Garden Theatre. Theatre Royal, Covent Garden : [playbills] [London : S.G. Fairbrother, Printer, etc., ca. 1800-1899]
University Drama Collection Oversize PR722 .C684a.
Playbills advertising musical and dramatic performances given at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden between 1836 and 1843. Bill dated Jan 28, 1836 lists: Venice Preserved, Harlequin Guy Fawkes, and Quasimodo: or, The Gypsey Girl of Notre Dame. Actors and musicians also named on each bill.

Chicago Civic Opera. [Production Notebooks] 15 boxes of notebooks related to Opera productions. Includes information for all technical theatre aspects of production, from costumes to sets to budgets. Organized by name of Opera.
Historic Scenic Collection. Uncataloged. Please ask for assistance.

Chicago Civic Opera Company. [Programs]. Bound book of programs, Season 1925-1926. Nov. 8 1925-Dec. 18, 1925.
Historic Scenic Collection. Uncataloged. Please ask for assistance.

Chicago Civic Opera Collection. [Blueprints]. A selection of blueprints for set design. Arranged by title of opera. [n.d.]
Historic Scenic Collection. Uncataloged. Please ask for assistance.

Chicago Civic Opera Collection. [Costume design maquettes]. A selection of costume design maquettes. Arranged by title of opera. [n.d.]
Historic Scenic Collection. Uncataloged. Please ask for assistance.

  


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