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Series XIII: Designs and Art Work, 1921-1977

Call Number: YCAL MSS 436, Series XIII

Scope and Contents

This series consists of costume, scenic, and lighting designs created for Theatre Guild stage productions dating from 1921 to 1974; Theatre Guild and Theatre Guild-American Theatre Society publicity material designs; miscellaneous sketches, drawings, and paintings; and an inventory of stage furniture.

The majority of the production designs date from 1921 to the late 1940s. Designers represented include Robert Edmond Jones, Lee Simonson, Lucinda Ballard, Jo Mielziner, Ralph Aswang, Rouben Ter-Arutunian, and numerous others; however, the majority of the design materials are unsigned. Technical drawings were often drawn by design assistants or other personnel. Names of production designers may be found in the production programs in Series XVII. Costume designs are documented by pencil and ink sketches and watercolor renderings. Scenic designs include watercolor renderings, blueprint ground plans and elevations (with ground plans being the most common set design documentation). Lighting design documentation includes light plots, instrument schedules, hanging plans, and other paperwork. Documentation in this series described as costume, set, lighting and property “plots” typically includes lists of costumes, equipment, and props as well as ground plans and other material. These are also frequently included in the production files in Series I, and in the prompt books in Series III. There is one set model for Legend of Lovers. Blueprint architectural drawings for the Guild Theatre are also included in this series.

Publicity Material Designs include renderings, mock-ups, proofs, and other material documenting the design of advertisements, heralds and flyers, and signage. Designs for window cards and posters may be found in Series XIV.

Art Work includes caricatures and cartoons; portraits of Lawrence Langner and Armina Marshall Langner by Eric Peters, and others; and miscellaneous sketches and drawings.

The Stage Furniture Inventory consists of small photographs of furniture and other properties affixed to index cards labeled with the title of the production in which they were used.


  • 1921-1977


Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection:

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 1267-1269, 1289-1292, 1303, 1319, and 1328-1333 are restricted pending preservation treatment.

Boxes 1483-1490 (audiovisual materials): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Art 1570-1572, 1599: Restricted fragile. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 1597: Restricted fragile. Reference surrogates have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Broadside 1598: Restricted fragile. For further information consult the appropriate curator.


Series XIII is organized into four subseries: Production Designs, Publicity Material Designs, Art Work, and Stage Furniture Inventory.


3.59 Linear Feet ((15 boxes) + 31 broadsides, 3 broadsides oversize, 3 art)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.