Museum of the City of New York

Collections and projects

Theater Collection

Theater Collection at the Museum of the City of New York consists of over 190,000 accessioned objects documenting the history of theater in New York City. Focused primarily on the Broadway stage, the Collection contains photographs, prints, dr
awings, posters, sheet music, scores, props, costume and set design renderings, costumes, furniture, decorative arts, works-on-paper, and ephemera such as programs and broadsides. Highlights include original manuscripts from playwright Eugene O’Neill; design renderings from Donald Oenslager, Miles White, and Lucinda Ballard; collections from actors Katharine Cornell, Helen Hayes, Mary Martin, and Ethel Merman; the memorabilia of George and Ira Gershwin and Richard Rodgers; the working scores and scripts of George M. Cohan; large gifts from composers and lyricists Howard Dietz and Betty Comden; and, a significant collection on Yiddish theater. In 2017, the Museum adopted a revitalized vision for the Collection focused on New York based theatrical artists and work that speak to the distinctive character of New York City, especially its heritage of diversity, opportunity, and perpetual transformation.


  • Circus
  • Theatre


  • Costume designs
  • Costumes
  • Photographs
  • Posters
  • Press articles
  • Programs
  • Set designs
  • Set models