Performing arts department
A department that preserves and adds to the memory of all forms of performing arts (theater, circus, mime, dance, etc.)
Interior of theater and audience, 18th century. Drawing
Collections on the following topics are available for consultation in the Performing Arts Department (département des Arts du spectacle):
The department endeavors to store all types of materials produced before, during and after performances: scripts of plays, manuscripts, mock-ups, sets, costumes and objects, photographs, audiovisual materials, posters, drawings and prints, programs and press cuttings, etc., as well as books and reviews. Every expression of live performance is represented in its collections: theater, circus, dance, puppetry, street theater, etc., as well as cinema, television, and radio. The department also holds a large number of archive collections and collections from personalities and institutions (theaters, festivals, companies, etc.).
History of the department
The department traces its origins back to the 1920 donation to the Government by Auguste Rondel (1858-1934) of an outstanding collection of materials on the subject of performing arts, covering all periods and countries. Established at the Arsenal Library (Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal) from 1925, this “theater library” kept on expanding, becoming the National Library’s Performing Arts Department in 1976.