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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Theater Programs and Playbills Collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1880-
Creator: Theater Programs and Playbills
Extent: 12.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0213
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Mostly programs from Chicago theaters; others are from St. Louis, New York, London, Des Moines, Iowa, Central City, Colorado, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and various other places.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs: Boxes 5, 11; CD-ROM at end of collection; ephemera throughout.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: See Scope and Contents

Preferred Citation: Theater Programs and Playbills Collection, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

This group is a collection point for several different donations. The first was given at an unknown date by an unknown donor. A donation from Elizabeth Mansfield was added in 2006. The Mansfield portion of the collection covered New York, Chicago, and Wisconsin theaters, with other midwest theaters represted by one or two programs. The dates of the programs range from the 1920s to 1940s. The Dr. and Mrs. Lewis E. January portion of the collection is comprised of programs from New York theaters almost exclusively, and the date range here is mostly the 1960s,1970s, and 1980s. These collections have been combined in a geographical arrangement.

A gift from the Department of Theatre Arts at the University of Iowa is apparently comprised of gifts or purchases from several different people, including the Reizensteins, who apparently passed the month between Christmas and late January in New York City, and spending a great deal of their time in the theater. These programs were disassembled and pasted into scrapbooks. For some of the years, the person who made the scrapbooks tore off the front cover and included it separately and the back of the book. Therefore there are some photographs which are not with the remainder of the program. It was deemed too time-intensive to try to match these up and the decision was made to include these in the collection as a chronological run. Some material included in scrapbooks marked with a year contain materials from other years.

The collection is rounded out by art exhibition catalogs, menus, and other miscellaneous printed ephemera having to do with the arts.

Browse by Series:
The detailed description has not been entered into the repository.
To view the content list, please follow this link.

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Theater programs

Genre/Form of Materials:
Exhibition catalogs
Clippings (Information artifacts)