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In the study of world theater and drama, the inaccessibility of definitive source materials has been a perplexing problem. Many important works are scattered throughout the world, and thus not available to those scholars who are unable to travel to obtain them.

This unique microfilm collection draws together and makes readily available books, periodicals, manuscripts, journals, and diaries from four centuries of theater in Europe and America. Students of European and American theater on the graduate level will find these materials to be a valuable asset in their research into the dramatic arts of the past and present.

Among the materials can be found:

  • contemporary reviews of notable performances
  • treatises on theater architecture
  • descriptions of set designs
  • theater histories
  • drama criticism
  • actors' manuals
  • memoirs and diaries of famous performers

Students of American theater history will find T.A. Brown's History of the American Stage (1870), as well as his Showman's Guide (1874), which provided information on performance halls, rents per night, licensing procedures, seating capacities, and travel information for touring companies. Also featured is The Mirror of Taste and Dramatic Censor (1810-11 ), a monthly periodical that printed reviews of contemporary performances and offered articles on theater history and performers.

The collection also includes a multitude of works representative of the European theater written in French, German, Italian, and Latin. Since foreign works comprise three-fourths of the materials, this collection is recommended for graduate and post-graduate research.

These documents were selected for their scholarly significance by a committee of the Speech Association of America and were gathered from private collections and from American and European libraries.


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