Theatre Collection

I. Collection Description


To support teaching and research in theatre studies. The Department of Theatre provides preparation for professional careers in the theatre, with emphasis on design, management, directing, technical theatre, playwriting and performance. These programs include all levels of study from the B.A. to the M.F.A. and Ph.D.

History of Collection:

The Library has collected materials on theatre throughout its history, with an early focus on the Shakespearean theatre. In the early 1980s, additional emphasis was placed on collecting theatre studies, through a two-year specially funded effort in retrospective collection development.

Estimate of Holdings:

18,000 volumes; 52 video recordings.

State, Regional and National Importance:

Special collections of Shakespeare materials, including prompt books and works on costume design (Motley Collection) give national and international importance to an otherwise average monographic collection.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

English Library.

Location of Materials:

Most books are located in the Bookstacks, with frequently used English language materials and reference works being located in the English Library. Other locations with substantial holdings in theatre studies are: the Undergraduate Library, the Modern Languages and Linguistics Library, the Music Library, the Art and Architecture Library, the Rare Book and Special Collections Library, and Home Economics. Recordings and video recordings of plays in performance are located in the Media Center in the Undergraduate Library. There is also a significant body of materials on the kabuki theatre in the Asian Library.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Cain, Melissa and Michael Mullin. "Design by Motley: A Theatre and Arts Collection." Performing Arts Resources. Vol. 8. Ed. Ginine Coruzza and Barbara N. Cohen-Stratyne. New York: Theatre Library Association, 1983.

Cain, Melissa. "Motley is the Only Wear: A Collection of Theatre and Costume Arts Design at the University Library," Non Solus 9 (1982): 25-34.

Loomis, Barbara E. R. "A Check List of Books Given to the University of Illinois Library by Ernest Ingold," Non Solus 3 (1976): 35-75.

Mullin, Michael. "Modern Shakespeare Promptbooks and Theatre Records" in "A Handful of Pleasant Delites," Non Solus (1974): 33-34.

Mullin, Michael. "The Shakespeare Memorial/Royal Shakespeare Theatre Archives" in "A Handful of Pleasant Delites," Non Solus 4 (1977): 45-6.

Scalon, James J. "His Book doth Live," Non Solus 3 (1976): 8-14.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Standard statement.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

The emphasis is on the American and British stage, but all geographical areas are collected.

Treatment of Subject:

Standard statement. Materials with primary focus on aspects of the professional theatre, the history of the theatre, and plays in performance. Literary texts of dramatic works are not part of the responsibility of the theatre fund. Such works are covered by various funds dealing with the literary arts. The Art and Architecture Library collects works on theatre and stage design; the Home Economics Library collects works on costumes and make-up; and the Music Library collects material on the musical theatre, including books, scores, and disk sound recordings.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement. In addition, video recordings of plays in performance are selected for location in the Media Center.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Theatre Collection
Acting and performance (including impersonation and improvisation) 3 Theatre
Pantomime 2 Theatre Applied Life Studies
Special stage effects 3 Art Theatre
Stage scenery and lighting 3 Art Theatre
Stage presentations (Broadway, amateur theatre, little theatre, summer theatre, children's theatre) 2 Theatre
Theatre handbooks, techniques, procedures, apparatus, equipment, materials 3 Theatre
Theatre make-up and costume 2 Home Economics Theatre
Theatre production description, critical appraisal and scripts 3 Theatre
Vaudeville, music halls, variety, cabaret 3 Theatre Music


Version Date: November 2005