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Content on this LibGuide was drawn from a variety of sources, including finding aids created by USC Libraries for the collections described. These finding aids are frequently the product of collaborative effort and revised over time.


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Performing Arts Collections

The Department of Special Collection is the home for many archival collections of performing arts materials, including correspondence, scores, costumes, recordings, film, and business records.

The tabs in this libguide will take you to information about specific collections in dance, theater, and music.  For information about other Special Collections performing arts archives, please see the lists below.



  • Lewitzky Dance Company Records
    Contains the archive of the Lewitzky Dance Company Archive, including papers, films, photographs, costumes, programs, posters, stage plots, and sound recordings.
  • Rudy Perez archive
    Contains the papers, clippings, programs, books, videos, costumes and photographs from the work of modern dance choreographer Rudy Perez.
  • Charles James Miller papers
    Contains correspondence, ephemera, and photographs related to Russell Meriwether Hughes ("La Meri")-- ethnic dance icon, instructor, friend (and one-time lover) of Charles Miller. The collection also includes Miller's own research material and dissertation on Edward Gordon Craig, published in 1957.
  • Saida Gerrard Collection
    Contains costumes, manuscripts, programs, photographs, and clippings pertaining to choreographer/dancer Saida Gerrard.
  • Gladys Ryland Papers
    Contains books and sheet music used in dance instruction in the 1930s-40s, many annotated by Ryland.


  • Theater playbills
    Contains twentieth century theater programs from New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and London and nineteenth century prompt books, souvenir programs, and theater programs from the Midwest (especially Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota).
  • Lillian Bronson papers
    Contains ephemera, correspondence, and clippings documenting the career of stage and film actress Lillian Bronson (1902-1955). Bronson appeared in more than eighty films and was Fonzi’s grandmother on the television show Happy Days.
  • Ross Brown theater photographs
    Consists of stereoscopic slides, 35mm slides, and black and white photographic prints of musical theatre and ballet performances in Los Angeles.
  • Federal Theatre Project scripts
    Contains scripts for plays performed by the Federal Theatre Project, which was operated between 1935 and 1939 as a part of the Work Progress Administration. The Los Angeles branch of the project produced over 195 plays.
  • Robert Richardson collection on Southern California Theater
    Contains the research files on Los Angeles and Southern California theaters compiled by Robert Richardson. The focus of the files, which contain clippings, statistics, and ephemera, is the physical venues themselves (the theaters).
  • Armond Fields American Theatre collection
    Documents the history of the American stage before talking cinema, reflecting the birth and death of vaudeville and the advent of the modern Broadway musical. The collection includes books, posters, theater programs, sheet-music covers, souvenirs, rare film footage of vaudevillians, including Weber & Fields, and manuscripts and research notes for Armond Fields' own books.
  • German Theater and Movie programs
    Contains theater, cabaret, opera, and movie programs from European German-speaking countries, 1929-1937.
  • Collection of theater scrapbooks
  • Actors and Actresses scrapbook
    This bound scrapbook contains photographic portraits of theater and movie actors and actresses clipped from popular magazines in the years 1917 and 1918. Many are accompanied by brief blurbs about the individual's career.
  • Grete Mosheim papers
    Contains the personal and business correspondence of the German-born actress Grete Mosheim (1905-1986) and articles and interviews covering Mosheim's acting career from the American and German press.
  • Marta Mierendorff papers
    Contains correspondence, manuscripts, notes, and ephemera regarding the lives and work of many German-speaking emigre artists in Southern California, including Leopold Jessner, Fritz Jessner, Walter Wicclair, director William Dieterle, art-director Rudi Feld, Felix Jackson, the Mann family, Lion Feuchtwanger, and Elow as well as about the Jewish Club of 1933.
  • Collection on Annie Sprinkle
    Contains the printed work of the performance artist Annie Sprinkle.
  • John Edward Blankenchip Papers
    Contains the papers of John Edward Blankenchip, professor emeritus of the USC School of Theatre.
  • Bruno David Ussher collection of photographs
    Contains photographs of musicians and music celebrties given to Ussher in the 1920s and 1930s. Many are autographed and inscribed.
  • Nicolas Remisoff papers
    Includes more than 400 original works, consisting of full-size watercolor drawings, black and white drawings, and numerous oil paintings. The collection covers all aspects of Remisoff's career and shows in detail his strengths as a set designer, costumer, muralist, portrait painter, professional designer, caricaturist, and illustrator. There are also several files of correspondence and photographs related to Remisoff's professional commissions for salons and movies
  • Ernst Matray papers
    Contains personal correspondence and correspondence related to actor, director, mime, and choreographer Ernst Matray’s artistic life, as well as photographs, invoices & statements, press clippings, artwork by Matray.
  • Oscar Homolka papers
    Contains manuscripts written by Oscar Homolka during his stay in Southern California. The collections also contains some photographs and ephemera relating to Homolka.
  • "Max Reinhardt in Action" portfolio
    Contains a portfolio/scrapbook of clippings and photographs was created by Catherine E. Sibley, including her research paper discussing the staging of Max Reinhardt's production of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Hollywood Bowl, the San Francisco Opera House, and UC Berkeley's Faculty Glade-Greek Theater during the 1934-1935 season.
  • Robert F. Jani papers
    Contains the personal and business archives of Jani, Creator, Director and Executive Producer of musical spectaculars, television productions, pageants and extravaganzas, celebrations, international events, parades, arena shows and sports events, world premieres and openings, pyrotechnic shows, expositions and, most recently, theme parks. Mr. Jani (USC '56) was a founder of USC Songfest and principal of Robert F. Jani Productions, Inc.
* Asterisk in guide title indicates core subject guide

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