Theatre Collection

With a special focus on Philadelphia, the Theatre Collection contains research materials on the history of American theatre, early film, and popular entertainment. You can find significant reference books, periodicals, programs, clipping files, reviews, photographs, posters, film stills and other memorabilia. The collection chronicles local theatre, with playbills dating back to 1803. It also maintains the Lubin Film Company Archive (1912-1916), and other rare items on the silent and classic film eras.

Digital Collection

Featured Item

Are you looking for the history of certain productions in Philadelphia? The Theatre Collection's unique Philadelphia Theatre Index is a good place to start. It indicates when and where professional productions of a show played here between the years 1855 and 2000. The index also notes if there is a playbill for that production in the collection.

Theatre Collection iconic image


Rare Book Department:
Third Floor, Central Library

Hours of Operation

Weekdays 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.



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