Rare Book Division

Rare Book Division

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Housed in Firestone Library, the Rare Book Division of the Department of Special Collections includes printed books, pamphlets, and broadsides, published in early modern Europe as well as 18th and 19th century imprints from the Americas and Europe.

Our Collections

The Library of Jacques Derrida, Studio Series, 1686-2010

Consists of the personal library of French philosopher Jacques Derrida and members of his household.
Collection ID: RBD1

American Minstrel Show Collection, 1854-1943 (mostly 1850-1929)

The bulk of the American Minstrel Show Collection consists of advertisement material promoting minstrel performances from the 1850s through the 1920s. The collection includes broadsheets, posters, newspaper clippings and programs, as well as pictures and photographs of minstrel show performers. In addition, a small portion of the collection contains sheet music and song and joke books.
Collection ID: TC050

Broadside Playbills, 18th-20th century

This collection contains broadside playbills from the United States, England, and Europe.
Collection ID: TC113

Robert Thorp of Alnwick Collection of Printed and Manuscript Music, 1729-1819

Consists of printed and manuscript music collected by Robert Thorp of Alnwick.
Collection ID: RBD3

Playbills Printed on Satin, 1803-1923

The Playbills Printed on Satin collection comprises 46 playbills printed on satin fabric.
Collection ID: TC114

Performing Arts Serials Collection, 1869-1980

The Performing Arts Serials Collection consists of serial printed material concerning the performing arts, including circus, dance, film, opera, radio, speech, television, theater, and vaudeville. For the most part, publications are represented by a sample or two issues.
Collection ID: TC110

Anonymous Playscripts Collection, 1890s-1942

Consists of miscellaneous anonymous playscripts, arranged alphabetically by title, that are largely undated but appear to range from the late 19th century to the mid-20th century (1942).
Collection ID: TC112

Dance Subject Files, 1900-1980s

The Dance Subject Files consist of dance-related subject files from early 20th century through 1980s. Among the material are clippings, photos, programs, promotional materials, and dance school brochures.
Collection ID: TC107

Theater People Subject Files, 1850s-1988

Consists of files (clippings, programs, books, caricatures, etc.) on people involved in theater, from the mid-19th century through the late 1980s, including actors, dramatists, directors, scholars, and designers.
Collection ID: TC106

Geographical Playbills Collection, 1832-1980 (mostly 1925-1965)

The Geographical Playbills Collection consists chiefly of playbills from the United States, but Great Britain, Canada, Bermuda, France, Germany, and Japan are also represented. Although this is a collection of playbills, there are also some letters, documents, printed matter, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous material.
Collection ID: TC022

Scrapbook collection of playbills, 1808-1967 (mostly 1880-1950)

Consists of 486 scrapbooks of playbills covering not only theater but also opera, ballet, and music.
Collection ID: TC055

New York City Theater Playbills Collection, 1880-1987

Consists of playbills of New York City theaters from the late 19th century to the present day.
Collection ID: TC091

Screenplays Collection, 1931-1979

Consists of screenplays for over 500 films produced by Columbia Studios, Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Twentieth Century Fox, and others.
Collection ID: TC064

Radio Scripts Collection, 1938-1947

The Radio Scripts Collection consists of typescripts of scripts for various radio programs such as "The Cavalcade of America" (represented by the most scripts), "The Eternal Light," "Books and Authors," "What's New in Books," "Pepper Young's Family," "The Goldbergs," and others.
Collection ID: TC059

Vaudeville Collection, 1895-1931

The Vaudeville Collection consists mainly of playbills of vaudeville productions with souvenir books, printed matter, clippings, and miscellaneous material.
Collection ID: TC080

Radio Broadcasting Collection, 1938-1959

The Radio Broadcasting Collection consists of typescripts of scripts for "The Cavalcade of America" and "The Bookman" as well as promotional material for the major radio networks, such as ABC, CBS, NBC, the Mutual Broadcasting System, and the Municipal Broadcasting System (WNYC). Included is material regarding the coverage of news during the latter years of World War II and copies of clippings about the Orson Welles broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" in 1938.
Collection ID: TC060

T. H. Vail Motter Playbills Collection, 1900-1969 (mostly 1913-1959)

The collection consists mainly of playbills of American dramatic productions covering over forty-five years of play-going by T. H. Vail Motter (Princeton Class of 1922) but includes some early 20th-century playbills from the London theater as well as foreign playbills from Greece, Turkey, Belgium, China, Japan, Denmark, Holland, and England.
Collection ID: TC052

Herbert Witherspoon Scrapbooks, 1896-1917

The Herbert Witherspoon Scrapbooks consists of newspaper clippings and programs relating to the musical career of Witherspoon, a Metropolitan Opera basso and performer of songs in recital.
Collection ID: TC088

Miscellaneous Playscripts Collection, 1882-1961

This collection includes some playscripts stamped or addressed by theater agencies in Chicago, New York City, and Hollywood, while others were used at McCarter Theater or by the Princeton University Players. There are wartime scripts from both world wars, as well as government plays from the Federal Theater Project, the Works Progress Administration, and the Department of Agriculture's War Food Commission.
Collection ID: TC030

Arthur Friedman Collection of Programs and Playbills, 1893-1973

Arthur Friedman is an American collector in music and theater. His collection consists of bound scrapbooks of opera programs and playbills for theater and concert performances covering eighty years of regular attendance by Friedman in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera House, Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and various legitimate theaters.
Collection ID: TC019

James Stewart Collection, 1936-1959

The James Stewart Collection contains seventeen screenplays of films in which starred American actor, Jimmy Stewart (Princeton Class of 1932).
Collection ID: TC049

Miscellaneous Screenplays, 1930-1980s

Consists of miscellaneous screenplays and related materials, such as continuity, superimposed versions (i.e. script translations), release dialogue scripts, and revisions/drafts. There are also a few information packets--these include interviews with and/or biographies of stars, synopses, and various and sundry other materials meant for release.
Collection ID: TC111

Collection of Ephemera Relating to the Marketing of Books, 1742-2014

Collection of ephemera relating to the marketing of books, consisting of prospectuses, adverts, catalogs, etc.
Collection ID: RBD2

Sarah Bernhardt Collection, 1878-1969

The Sarah Bernhardt Collection consists of newspaper and magazine clippings, theater programs and playbills, photographs, and other materials on French actress Sarah Bernhardt.
Collection ID: TC134

Federal Theatre Project Collection, 1935-1939

The Federal Theatre Project Collection consists of bulletins, reports, speeches, catalogues, play programs, information releases, notices and reviews, clippings, protest leaflets, performance details, and other materials of the Federal Theatre Project established by the Works Progress Administration during the Depression, with Hallie Flanagan as the national director.
Collection ID: TC015

Joseph Jefferson Collection, 1823-1976 (mostly 1829-1905)

Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905) was an American actor and author. His collection consists of biographical newspaper clippings, 2 copies of his Autobiography, theatrical criticism and approbation, and clippings on family matters.
Collection ID: TC132

Edmund Kean Collection, 1814-1933

Consists of theater programs, newspaper clippings, and articles on English actor Edmund Kean, as well as portraits of Kean in various dramatic roles.
Collection ID: TC131

Miscellaneous Dance Files Collection, 1940-1989

The Miscellaneous Dance Files Collection contains printed programs, souvenir programs, clippings, and reviews of various ballet companies and choreographers.
Collection ID: TC122

Program in Hellenic Studies Collection of Modern Greek Theater Playbills, Second Series, 1933-1981

This collection contains playbills mostly from Greece and a few from other countries.
Collection ID: RCPXR-6386581

William C. and Cecil B. De Mille Collection, circa 1913-1940

Willam Churchill De Mille (1878-1955) was an American playwright, producer, and lecturer. The William C. and Cecil B. De Mille Collection consists of playscripts by William, and some co-authored by his younger brother Cecil.
Collection ID: TC142

Gilbert and Sullivan Collection, 1879-1965 (mostly 1930-1960)

Consists of playbills, programs, and some other printed material relating to the works of Gilbert and Sullivan.
Collection ID: TC117

Marie Bashkirtseff Collection, 1922-1937

The Marie Bashkirtseff Collection consists of newspaper and book reviews about her published journal and later biographies about her; one engraved portrait; one engraved illustration.
Collection ID: TC135

Warner Bros. Screenplays, 1928-1969

The Warner Bros. Screenplays consists of a large collection of scripts for films produced by the Warner Bros. studio.
Collection ID: TC099

Jimmy Stewart Collection, 1930-1979

The Jimmy Stewart Collection consists of newspaper and magazine clippings about the life and career of American actor, James Stewart (Princeton Class of 1932). Also included in the collection are film stills and other photographs.
Collection ID: TC133

Saint Louis Municipal Opera Collection, 1953-1954

The Saint Louis Municipal Opera Collection consists of programs, souvenir books, press releases, publicity photographs, and miscellaneous items.
Collection ID: TC143

John H. Scheide Collection on Slavery in North America, 1688-1865 (mostly 1766-1865)

Consists of a group of around forty documents, primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries, that were assembled by collector John H. Scheide on the topic of slavery in North America.
Collection ID: SL001
Collection ID: RCPXR-6386612

Ereunes ston Hellēniko agrotiko chōro, 1976-1977

Consists of bound volumes of completed questionnaire forms relating to research project on Greek rural communities.
Collection ID: RCPXR-7779025

George C. Fraser Collection, 1886-1935

Consists of twelve diaries (1886-1922) containing typed or hand-written notes, approximately 2,110 photographs, approximately 350 lantern slides, and 100 postcards of Fraser (Princeton University Class of 1893) relating to his trips to the Southern and Southwestern United States and Canada with different family members and one (1886-1889) from several trips as a youth to Europe and the Middle East.
Collection ID: WC038

Vivilakēs Collection of Modern Greek Theater Playbills, 1948-1967

This collection contains playbills mostly from Greece and a few from other countries.
Collection ID: RCPXR-6386701

Wanted Outlaws Posters Collection, 1911-1915

The Wanted Outlaws Posters Collection contains 10 wanted posters for horse theft, larceny, counterfeiting, and murder from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Collection ID: WC127

American Ballet Theatre Programs, 1940-1979

The American Ballet Theatre is an American ballet company founded by Oliver Smith and Lucia Chase in 1940. The collection consists of programs of performances of the Ballet Theatre dance company from its first performance in 1940 until 1979.
Collection ID: TC004

The Library of Jacques Derrida, House Series, 1793-2013

Consists of the personal library of French philosopher Jacques Derrida and members of his household.
Collection ID: RBD1.1