Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections

Performing Arts Holdings

Costume design by Leon Bakst.

Léon Bakst. Costume design for Narcisse,
1911. From a 1916 souvenir program for
Serge Diaghilev's Ballet Russe.
Dance Collection

The voluminous archive of the pioneering theatrical and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes includes projects ranging from Divine Comedy (1921) and The Miracle (1924) to streamlined motor cars and the Toledo scale. The collection of the legendary acting teacher Stella Adler contains teaching notes and correspondence, supplemented by hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings of her classes in New York and Los Angeles. The archive of B. J. Simmons & Co., one of London's major costume houses, includes 34,000 designs by premiere artists such as Percy Anderson, Cecil Beaton, Comelli, and Motley. Simmons was responsible for dressing many of the West End's most famous stage productions from the 1880s to the 1960s, as well as more than 100 films including Ben Hur, Olivier's Henry V, and Kind Hearts and Coronets. The massive Theater Biography Collection documents the careers of over 5,000 British and American performing arts figures with photographs, posters, and other memorabilia. A smaller section includes playwrights, critics, managers, directors, and other production personnel. The extensive archives of the New York theater photographers Fred Fehl and Bob Golby contain photographs of nearly 800 stagings of Broadway plays from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Fehl's collection is divided into theater and dance segments. The personal papers of the legendary magician and escape artist Harry Houdini are complemented by numerous files about magicians and the history of magic that form the Magicians Collection.

Browse by Collection
Browse by Subject/Format
Browse by Finding Aid


The Reading Room Will Be Closed:

May 30, 2016
July 4, 2016

Always closed on Sundays

Connect with the
Harry Ransom Center
Flickr YouTube RSS Tumblr Facebook Twitter