The Perry Library of Theatre

An archive and research center dedicated to study of the performing arts
 
 

Collection Highlights

 
 

 


The Perry Library of Theatre collection features over six hundred scripts and several hundred volumes of criticism, history, and literature related to the performing arts. The collection also includes an archive of hundreds of pieces of rare theatre ephemera from the 18th through the 21st centuries, including playbills, posters, photographs, letters, and other assorted works on paper. PLOT also maintains a collection of fine art, including paintings, drawings, prints, and sculpture related to theatre or the performing arts. Below are selected highlights of the Perry Library Collection.


A playbill from March 11, 1779, announcing the performance of a play, The West Indian, a monody (a style of accompanied solo song consisting of a vocal line), and a "new scene" to be performed at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane. 



Hand-written letter, 1910, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle regarding his play, Temperley. Written on stationery from the Piccadilly Hotel, the letter discusses the success and/or lack of success of his dramatic works. 

 


A playbill from 1861, announcing a performance by famous American actor Edwin Forrest (1806-1872) as Damon in a production of Damon and Pythias at Niblo's Theatre, New York. 



Isadora Duncan by Van Dearing Perrine

Pastel drawing of dancer Isadora Duncan (1877-1927) by American artist Van Dearing Perrine (1868-1955). This drawing of Duncan was synthesized from a series of life sketches the artist completed in 1916 while she performed. 



The following watercolor paintings and sketches are by British artist John Massey Wright (1777-1866), depicting scenes from the plays of William Shakespeare:



Twelfth Night, watercolor on paper. Inscribed by the artist (verso): "The last scene of the Twelfth Night by John Massey Wright." 



The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I, Scene III, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright. 



Much Ado About Nothing, Act III, Scene III, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright. 



The Merchant of Venice, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright.



Macbeth, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright. 



Julius Caesar, ink wash on paper by John Massey Wright. 



Macbeth, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright. 



Henry VIII, ink wash and pencil on paper by John Massey Wright. 



Henry V, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright. 



All's Well That Ends Well, watercolor on paper by John Massey Wright.