The 33 Theatre Department Scrapbooks in this series fill 16 archival boxes and document the production history of the University Theatre, from 1928 through 1998. The scrapbooks are arranged roughly in chronological order. There is, however, a degree of overlap between several individual scrapbooks; when such a case occurs the scrapbooks are ordered in the clearest way possible.
In general, the scrapbooks contain press clippings, advertisements, photographs, and production programs (including cast, technical and artistic staff lists) from University Theater season productions. Also included are press clippings and articles concerning Theater Department faculty and new facilities (specifically the construction of the Theatre and Interpretation Center in the late 1970s). Of special interest are press clippings concerning well-known Northwestern alumni in theater and film—see in particular the scrapbook dated 1961-1969 in Box 14. A brief description of each box follows. In the scrapbooks containing just photos, some productions are identified (usually by a pasted-in program) but none of the photos are captioned, and many productions are unidentified other than by the production number on the front cover. The University Theatre Production Records (Series 20/20) are helpful in linking a show's production number with its title and date of performance.
Box 1 contains a single scrapbook containing production programs for the years 1928-1951.
Boxes 2, 3, and 4 contain scrapbooks of press clippings and programs for the years 1933-1940.
Six volumes of production photos in Boxes 5, 8, 11, 12 and 13 contain photographs spanning the years/seasons 1939-1965. These are identified by Production Number.
Box 6 contains three scrapbooks of University Theater Clippings (1928-1932, 1935-1937 and 1937-1941) and one scrapbook of press clippings and programs, 1940-1944.
Box 7 contains two scrapbooks of similar nature to the ones listed above. One chronicles University Theater productions, 1944-1947; while the other dates from 1947 through 1951.
Box 9 contains a single scrapbook of production programs only from the 1951 season.
Box 10 contains two scrapbooks of press and photos, one dating 1951-1955 and the other dating 1955-1959.
Boxes 11, 12 and 13 contain all-photo scrapbooks of productions from the seasons: 1953-57, 1957-59, 1959-60, and 1960-65.
Box 14 contains two scrapbooks of press and programs; one dating 1959-1963 and the other dating 1961-1969. The latter scrapbook also contains “Notices; Department Faculty, Grad Students, and Alumni; Activities of Department; Everything except publicity on U.T. Plays,” including clippings featuring such students as Paula Prentiss, Ann Margaret, Robert Reed, Peter Strauss and Richard Benjamin.
Box 15 contains three scrapbooks of press and programs. The first spans 1965 to 1973; the second, 1965-1968; and the third, 1978-1980. The third scrapbook also contains press about the construction and opening of the Theater and Interpretation Center.
Box 16 contains four scrapbooks: 1980-1981, 1982-83, 1983-84, and 1984. Also included in this box are “season folders,” 1996-7 and 1997-8.