University of Oregon

Theatre Images Online

Theater Research Guide

  • Applause South West An online multimedia archive of 300 years of English theatre history; theatres, shows and the people who appeared in them... and much more. Thumbnail links to members and productions of the famous Diaghilev / Nijinsky company. 
  • ARTstor.  Database of over 500,000 images with sophisticated viewing software.
  • Beijing Opera Page Attractive site. Opening page has fine photo of MEI Lanfang (1894-1961) as Xi Shi. Other photos illustrate the main roles in Beijing Opera, leading players, etc. Some masks.
  • Biblioteca e Raccolta Teatrale del Burcado Rich in resources, and well presented. 
  • Bibliothéque nationale de France: Dèpartement des arts du spectacle 
  • Bibliothéque-musèe de la Comèdie française The information page contains three small sample images: the stage and auditorium, a late 17thC print, and a page from one of the famous registers
  • CARTHALIA - Theatres on Postcards A collection of postcards of theatre buildings and concert halls worldwide
  • Costume Design Chicago A guide to theater costume design, resources and stories
  • English Actors at the turn of the Twentieth Century Several dozen Edwardian tinted photos 
  • Federal Theatre Project images This online presentation includes over 3,000 images of items selected from the Federal Theatre Project Collection at the Library of Congress. Featured here are stage and costume designs, still photographs, posters, and scripts for productions of Macbeth and The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus as staged by Orson Welles, and for Power, a topical drama of the period. The Federal Theatre Project was one of five arts-related projects established during the first term of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
  • Footlight Notes John Culme's highly entertaining mix of pre-1920 photographs, postcards, sheet music covers and magazines, etc. - some 25,000 items in all. Worth a visit. 'Footlight Notes is about popular entertainment during a period of extraordinary activity in the history of the theatre: the 1850s to the 1920s.'
  • Korean mask drama 
  • Kurt Weill Homepage 
  • Lennox-Boyd Collection The private collection of English mezzotints acquired by Christopher Lennox-Boyd since 1968. Strong on late 18th and 19th centuries.  
  • Library of Congress: American Memory Collections and Topics The link will take you to "American Memory Collections". Includes photos from the Federal Theatre Project, early motion pictures, the variety stage, celebrities -- or search by keyword ("actors", "theatre", etc.). Rich collection, well worth browsing. Some European libraries could learn a thing or two about generosity here ...
  • Max Reinhardt Archives A selection online from he Archives' 14,000+ photographs and negatives, which constitute a significant visual repository of prominent actors and actresses as well as a visual record of twentieth-century advances in scene and costume design. The Archives also boasts a photo scrapbook collection containing 5,500 images of nineteenth-century German actors and actresses. Representative images from the holdings in theatre,circus, dance, opera. Please note the restrictions on use specified on the entry page. Paintings, posters, playbills and costume designs, mostly 19thC British, from the collection the scholar who retired in 1996.
  • Quebec: Un fou dans une poche 200 years of early French-Canadian theatre, well illustrated
  • Robert Wilson Features preparatory sketches by the visionary director/designer.
  •  SBTD Picture Gallery Stage and costume designs from the Society of British Theatre Designers. Follow the link to GALLERY. Also available -- report and pix from the 1999 Prague Quadrennial, and details of current exhibition at the Theatre Museum, London
  • set designer home page contemporary swedish set design Shakespearean theatre illustrated by postcards. Fascinating and unusual project 19thC paintings and other resources. Images from the Somerset Maugham collection bequeathed to the National Theatre.
  • Broadway Theatre Archive (Recommended by Basil Hero.) Written about in The New York Times, The Broadway Theatre Archive has the finest collection of theatre/broadway plays adapted for television since the 1950's. Within the collection is Death of A Salesman w/ Lee J. Cobb, The Iceman cometh w
  • The Bunraku A detailed Bunraku site with plenty of information and an animated image
  • The Cleveland Press Shakespeare Photographs 1870-1982: Photographs from the plays of William Shakespeare on stage, screen, television, opera, and ballet. (Recommended by Lesley Jorbin.) This unique site is the ONLY image site to present photographs from Shakespeare productions, in a searchable database; it may be searched by play title or play grouping (tragedies, comedies, etc) or keyword.
  • The Development of Stage Spectacle (Recommended by Frank Mohler.) Fascinating animations, plus database of early stage machinery
  • The History of Costume by Braun & Scheider Vast range of neatly arranged thumbnails linked to 100k graphics, in colour, from the mid-19thC handbook of historical costume. Go dizzy with the morphing on the front page University of Washington School of Drama: several dozen scanned images now available, hundreds to follow
  • The Puppeteers' Cooperative Home Page 68 ways to make really big puppets, plus a patternbook of pageants and processions. Lots of hand-drawn illustrations.
  • Theaterwetenschap An experiment in VRML representation of the group's theatre. Follow link to Nieuws and then to Virtueel kirjkje. ('Dit is de Web site van de leerstoel Theaterwetenschap van de Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam')
  • Theatre Ephemera (Recommended by Rodney Higginbotham.) A continually growing archive of theatre iconography
  • Theatron: Roman Permanent Theatres 3-D computer models of the Theatre of Pompey; with links to similar ventures involving Greek, Roman and Restoration theatres.

Page author:  Ed Teague,

Created by ehteague on Jun 18, 2012 Last updated Aug 24, 2015
University of Oregon Libraries
1501 Kincaid Street Eugene, OR
T: (541) 346-3053
F: (541) 346-3485
Make a Gift