Theater playbills Edit


Finding Aid Author
Rebecca Hirsch and Sarah Guidas
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
The processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid was funded by the generous support of the National Historic Publications and Records Commission.


  • 1866-1999 (Creation)
  • bulk (Creation)


  • 14.67 Linear Feet (Whole)
    15 boxes



  • Language of Materials

    Most of the materials in this collection are in English; however, there are also programs in Spanish, German and French.

  • Abstract

    This collection primarily consists of twentieth century theater programs from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London. However, it also includes nineteenth century prompt books, souvenir programs, and theater programs from the Midwest (especially Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota).

  • Historical Note

    The programs and playbills in the Theater playbills demonstrate the evolution of one-sheet playbills into modern, multi-page theater programs.

  • Scope and Content

    The Theater playbills consists primarily of theater programs and other printed ephemera from twentieth century New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London. Also included are late nineteenth and early twentieth century theater programs from the Midwestern United States, scrapbooks of playbills and annotated prompt books from the same time period, and souvenir programs. A few miscellaneous publications (mostly related to the theater) are also present in this collection. It appears as though the collection was created through the combination of a number of smaller collections with differing provenances, including ones put together by Constance McCormick, Milton Lewis, and William J. Williams.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE. Advance notice required for access.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], Theater playbills, Collection no. 0104, Special Collections, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    The collection contains published materials; researchers are reminded of the copyright restrictions imposed by publishers on reusing their articles and parts of books. It is the responsibility of researchers to acquire permission from publishers when reusing such materials. The copyright to unpublished materials belongs to the heirs of the writers. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

  • Related Archival Materials

    Other special collections at USC that contain theater materials include Collection no. 0242, the Robert Richardson collection on Southern California Theater, and Collection no. 0116, the Federal Theatre Project scripts.