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Historic Scenic Collection

Identifier: RBSC-SPX-012

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of printed paper-based materials, photographs, books, correspondence, illustrations, and blueprints that relate directly to the Lyric Opera of Chicago.  This collection is divided into series based upon format.  Series I is composed of production notebooks; Series II and III are Blueprints and Floorplans respectively (which are currently still being processed).  Series IV consists of photographs; Series V is Illustrations of sets, stage design, and costumes; Series VI consists of Programs that describe the opera acts and story; Series VII is Libretto (which are the texts of the opera, translated from their original language into English).  Series VIII is Scripts; Series IX is Correspondence; Series X consists of Timesheets, which are further broken down into Timesheet subseries of Anuual Tours, Rehearsal Timesheets, and Performance Timesheets.  Series XI is Accounts; Series XII Expense Reports; Series XIII is Purchase Orders; Series XIV is Material Orders; Series XV is Receipts; Series XVI is Property Lists; and Series XVII is Inventory.  Series XVIII is Reference Material that includes books (some of these books have call numbers listed that can be found in our online catalogue).  Lastly, Series XIX is Miscellaneous material.


  • created: 1865-2012

Conditions Governing Access

no restrictions


250.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The Historic Scenic Collection contains intriguing documentation, photos, blueprints, and advertisements of the Chicago Opera dating back to the early 1900s.  This collection is 250 linear feet that spans an entire century of theatre performances.  Some of the highlights ­­are production photos of scenes and play actors, blueprints of the sets and stages, and old-time programs that were handed out to avid theatre goers.

Arrangement Note

Series I: Production Notebooks, Series II: Blueprints, Series III: Floorplans, Series IV: Photographs, Series V: Illustrations, Series VI: Programs, Series VII: Libretto, Series VIII: Scripts, Series IX: Correspondence, Series X: Timesheets, Series XI: Accounts, Series XII: Expense Reports, Series XIII: Purchase Orders, Series XIV: Material Orders, Series XV: Receipts, Series XVI: Property Lists, Series XVII: Inventory, Series XVIII: Reference Material, and Series XIX: Miscellaneous. A copy of the old finding aid is located in Series I, Box 1 and it provides details of the orginal inventory made for the collection. When the collection was fully processed this inventory was adapted and used in the current finding aid which includes how some series were arranged.

Archon Finding Aid Title
Description rules
Other Unmapped
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Northern Illinois University Repository

Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb IL 60115 US