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To The Ohio State University's Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute

The mission of The Ohio State University's Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute is to build a world-class collection of materials documenting the performing arts.

The majority of the Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute holdings have been acquired through generous donations of collections and endowment funds supporting collections, access, and programming.  Acquisition decisions are based on relevance to the collection development focuses, research value of the material, relationship to other materials, and costs of acquiring, preserving, housing, and making accessible the material.   Gifts that require extraordinary resources are reviewed in accordance with OSU Libraries’ Gifts-in-Kind Review Policy.  If you are interested in making a donation, please contact us at libtri@osu.edu or 614-292-6614.

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The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute collects:

• Papers of professional theatre artists active in creative and administrative capacities in the live and recorded performing arts.

• Original professional scene, costume, and lighting design.  Models are acquired selectively.

• Popular entertainment including materials on vaudeville, burlesque, repertory companies, tent shows, Uncle Tom's Cabin shows, magic and illusion shows, Chautauqua and Lyceum, puppetry, toy theatre, and carnival.

• Czech Theatre

• Dance, Mime and Movement Arts including dance materials documenting the work of choreographers and dancers, the field of dance notation with an emphasis on Labanotation, and mime and movement arts, in particular the work and legacy of Marcel Marceau.

• Technical Theatre

• Performing Arts Criticism including the archives of the American Theatre Critics Association, papers of individual critics and writers.

• Theatre and Film Promotion

• Organizational Archives including producing organizations and professional associations. New archives will be considered carefully for what they may contribute that is different from the existing holdings. 

• OSU Department of Theatre Production Archives

• Contemporary Theatre including selectively collected materials documenting contemporary theatre such as the production of works at fringe festivals.

We do not collect:

• High school and amateur theatrical activities and individual work by current Department of Theatre students.

• Costumes, stage drops, stage properties, equipment, unsolicited playscripts, commercial sound and video recordings unless the relationship of the material to the collection in which it is received or to existing collections is of primary relevance.


"Theatre is the universal means of expression. It embraces all of the arts through which human minds seek to reach one another." Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee - November, 1986