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Theater Collections at Special Collections in Performing Arts

A guide to theater collections and resources at Special Collections in Performing Arts at the University of Maryland.

Contact the Curator

If you would like more information about any of the collections featured here, please contact 

John Davis

Interim Curator for Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA)


SCPA Programs Collection

The SCPA Programs Collection contains over 3500 playbills from a variety of performances. Most important and comprehensive are programs from the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. An inventory is available upon request. 

Madeleine Bartfeld Sigel Collection

Madeleine Bartfeld Sigel (b. 1924), who grew up in Austria and later emigrated to the United States, and her father Albert Bartfeld, a theatre manager and owner of a cabaret in Vienna in the 1930's, were both avid collectors of performing arts autographs and programs. This collection includes programs from various performances attended by Sigel thoughout the United States and internationally, the bulk of which are from the Washington, DC metro area; materials related to the Comedian Harmonists, a popular male vocal ensemble who performed throughout Europe in the mid-to-late 1930's; and scrapbooks, photographs and autographs of various performers from the early 1900's through the 1930's collected by Sigel and her father.

Finding Aid

Henry M. Bagdasian Theater Posters and Playbills Collection

The Harry M. Bagdasian Theatre Posters Collection consists of 68 posters from the Washington, DC theatre community. The posters are from a variety of theatres, but predominantly those of Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre, and the John F. Kennedy Center. Mr. Bagdasian (b. 1949) collected these posters out of his own interest in theatre local to DC. He is an active participant in the professional theatre community of the Washington, DC metro area as an author (specializing in comedy), director, producer, stage manager, and speaker coach. Mr. Bagdasian was also a founding member of the New Playwrights' Theatre Company, which he led from 1972 through 1984.

Finding Aid

Stanford Barouh Collection

The Stanford Barouh Collection contains the photographic work of Stanford Barouh, a graduate of the University of Maryland and a photographer/photojournalist active in the Washington D.C. area. Mr. Barouh's photography spans many genres including the performing arts, portraits, and art photography. This collection contains his promotional photography for performing arts productions in the Washington, D.C. area, predominantly in theatre.

Finding Aid

Charles H. Eisenhardt, Jr. Collection

The Charles H. Eisenhardt Jr. (1902-1917), a Baltimore native and avid patron of the arts, attended numerous concerts and theater productions in Baltimore and was particularly interested in musical theater. An employee of American Steel and Wire Company, in 1942 he moved with his wife Ethel and daughter Jane to Cleveland, Ohio, were they where frequent attendees at the Hanna Theater and The Cleveland Playhouse. Eisenhardt transferred to New York City in 1956 to work for US Steel Corporation and remained in the New York City metro area until his death. The collection covers the period from 1865 to 1964 with the bulk of the material from 1910 to 1945. The collection consists of programs, newspaper and magazine clippings, books, scores, and memorabilia collected by Mr. Eisenhardt. Theater programs have been integrated into the SCPA Theater Program Collection.

Finding Aid

Jane Minesinger theatre programs collection

The Jane Minesinger theatre programs collection contains programs gathered by Jane Minesinger (1934-2016), a golfer and theatre enthusiast. Minesinger's father, Charles H. Eisenhardt, was an avid patron of the arts and supporter of musical theater, as well. The bulk of the programs come from productions staged from 1918 to 1947 at theatres in Baltimore, Maryland. The files are arranged chronologically. Additional programs include theatres in Washington D.C., as well as six programs from cities outside Maryland. This collection is unprocessed, please contact the curator for more information. 

Lee G. Rubenstein collection of theatre programs

The Lee G. Rubenstein collection of theatre programs covers the period from 1969-2015. The collection includes theatre programs for 1,805 productions (2,498 total items including duplicates) predominantly from theatres in the Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD metropolitan areas, but also theatres from elsewhere in the US and Europe. Also included are eleven original linocuts and autographs by James Lesesne Wells, as well as autographs by the artists Robert Rasuchenberg and Ralph Goings.

Finding Aid link

Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA)

The Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive (WAPAVA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to documenting theatre and performing arts in the DC-region.

WAPAVA secures the rights to record performances and contributes the recordings to the James J. Taylor Collection of the Washington Area Performing Arts Video Archive.

The James J. Taylor Collection is held by Special Collections in Performing Arts, part of the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library at the University of Maryland.

WAPAVA also provides public-access copies of the recordings to the Washingtoniana Division of the DC Public Library.

For more information about using the WAPAVA collection, please visit the WAPAVA LibGuide.