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Performing Arts Digital Collections

Manuscript page. Click to enlarge.

Manuscript for Oscar Wilde's unfinished play, A Florentine Tragedy, ca. 1894 | Oscar Wilde Collection, box 1.2

The Ransom Center regularly makes new collection material available online. This includes material in the public domain, material where copyright was transferred to the Ransom Center, or material where copyright holders have given expressed permission to present the material online.

This list describes digital collections with performing arts-related content. To browse the full list, visit the Ransom Center's Digital Collections portal.

Have the digital collections been useful to your research? Let us know – send us an email: performingarts@hrc.utexas.edu

Robert Burns Collection
The Burns collection includes examples of the poet's works set to music.

The Black Crook Collection
Documenting one of the earliest successful American stage musicals, The Black Crook Collection includes books, sheet music, playbills, programs, clippings, drawings, prints, and photographs.

John Wilkes Booth's Promptbook for Richard III
The promptbook includes acting and technical notations for Booth's production of Shakespeare's Richard III in his own hand.

Boydell Shakespeare Folio
Commissioned by John Boydell to accompany his gallery of artworks depicting scenes from the works of Shakespeare, this collection of large folio prints belonged to the British author Evelyn Waugh.

Mary Elizabeth Braddon Collection
Part of the Robert Lee Wollf Collection of 19th century fiction, this archive of Mary Elizabeth Braddon, a prolific English writer of popular fiction in the Victorian period, includes letters with many notable theatre figures including Wilson Barrett, J. M. Barrie, Herbert Beerbohm Tree, and Henry Irving.

Brontë Family Collection
The Brontë collection includes a manuscript score for Emily Brontë's "Lullaby to A. A." by Ernest Powell.

Julia Margaret Cameron Collection
The Ransom Center holds 261 albumen photographs by noted photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (British, 1815-1879). Included are portraits of writers and actors such as Henry Irving in costume as Thomas Becket.

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) Photography Collection
Photographs taken and collected by the noted photographer, writer, and mathematician. Among the scrapbooks are portraits of performers, including a portrait of actress Ellen Terry in the role of Dora.

Circus Collection
The Circus Collection contains a selection of the clippings, photographs, posters, and programs that can be found in the larger archive at the Ransom Center.

Fred Fehl Dance Photograph Collection
Covering roughly 1940-1985, these prints from noted performance photographer Fred Fehl capture productions from over fifty dance companies and choreographers.

Gabriel García Márquez Papers
The papers of Colombian-born Nobel Prize-winning writer include typescript drafts of his 1988 play Diatriba de amor contra un hombre sentado.

David Garrick's Travel Diary
In 1751, renowned British actor-manager David Garrick made his first trip to his ancestral home of France. It was a watershed moment that he would refer to for the rest of his life, and the diary documents his thoughts and experiences in the moment. Formerly from the dramatic library of Harry Houdini.

Mel Gussow Interview Recordings
For over 40 years Mel Gussow was the lead cultural critic for The New York Times. During the full length of his career, Gussow recorded interviews with stars and lesser-known figures of the American and British theatre and literary scenes. Over 100 of the nearly 1,000 recordings are present here. Additional recordings will be added.

George Frideric Handel's Coronation Anthems
Handel composed the Coronation Anthems in 1727. This manuscript copy was by Handel's chief copyist John Christopher Smith the Elder, around 1730. It includes the anthems Let Thy Hand Be Strengthened, Zadok the Priest, The King Shall Rejoice, and My Heart Is Inditing.

Harry Houdini Scrapbooks
Selected scrapbooks assembled or collected by famed illusionist Harry Houdini, included as part of his larger archive at the Ransom Center.

Julia Ward Howe Collection
Includes a draft fragment of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Henry James Collection
Contains an early manuscript draft of his play Summersoft.

Thomas Hardy Collection
The collection holds a signed typescript of Hardy's five-act Tess of the D'Ubervilles with handwritten corrections, and a play synopsis of Jude the Obscure.

John Keats Collection
Includes manuscript draft fragments for Keats' verse play Otho the Great.

Magic Posters and Playbills
The magic posters and playbills digital collection contains selected visual images from the Ransom Center's Harry Houdini and Magicians collections pertaining to magicians and the history of magic from 1750 to 1920.

Medieval and Early Modern Manuscripts Collection
Contains 215 medieval or Renaissance manuscripts that date between the 11th and 17th centuries. Includes a 17th century manuscript of Giovanni Rucellai's tragedy Oreste e Pylade originally written in the 1490s, and a series of early antiphonals, anthems, and hymnals.

The Mike Wallace Interview Collection
Mike Wallace rose to prominence in 1956 with the New York City television interview program, Night-Beat, which soon developed into the nationally televised prime-time program, The Mike Wallace Interview. Guests include Gloria Swanson, Diana Barrymore, Lili St Cyr, Kirk Douglas, Diana Dors, Jean Seberg, Ben Hecht, Rudy Vallee, Oscar Hammerstein II, Tony Perkins, Peter Ustinov, and Lillian Roth.

New York Journal American Photographic Morgue
The photographic morgue consists of approximately two million prints and one million negatives created for publication in the New York Journal-Americannewspaper. The bulk of the material covers the years from 1937 to the paper's demise in 1966. Various performances and associated individuals are collected under the "Arts and Leisure" heading.

O, Henry Collection
O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter, was an American author of short stories. This collection includes his play Lo, the Poor Indian and an unidentified drama.

Performing Arts Glass Plate Negative Collection
The Performing Arts glass plate negatives collection, ca. 1890–ca. 1920 (bulk 1900–1910), consists of 95 photographic glass plate negatives. Forty-six images are from twenty theater productions in New York and thirty-four images are from unidentified productions.

Edgar Allan Poe Collection
The collection contains the handwritten last page of Poe's one attempt at a play, Politian, and sheet music based on his poetry.

Popular Imagery Collection
The Popular Imagery Collection contains over 800 early European works reflecting popular culture including popular performance and dance. Included are woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and mezzotints spanning the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and nine European countries.

Rare Books Collection
Many of the Ransom Center's treasures are in the stacks amongst our broad and deep collections of printed books. Digitized holdings include early works by Ben Jonson, William Shakespeare, and Voltaire.

Shakespeare First Folio
The Ransom Center holds three copies of Shakespeare's first folio. The digitized edition is formerly from the library of Carl Pforzheimer.

Sara Teasdale Collection
Sara Teasdale was an American poet born in 1884. Her collection at the Ransom Center includes a manuscript for her one-act play On the Tower (circa 1911).

Baron Alfred Tennyson Collection
The English poet's collection includes page proofs of his play The Cup, and a manuscript and page proof of The Falcon.

Oscar Wilde Collection
The Ransom Center's Oscar Wilde collection focuses largely on the writer's work in theatre, including the original manuscripts for Salomé and his unfinished Florentine Tragedy.


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