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LGBTQ+ Performing Arts Resources at the Library of Congress

LGBTQ+ Collections

The entries below describe Performing Arts collections that focus on LGBTQ+ materials and/or artists. In some cases, other relevant materials within the collections have been identified. The links included direct to the finding aid for each collection; for collections that are unprocessed, link directs to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog.

Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation Collection, 1958-2008

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (AAADT) was founded in 1958 by dancer/choreographer Alvin Ailey (b. January 5, 1931, Rogers, TX; d. December 1, 1989, Manhattan, NY). Ailey's goal was to form a company dedicated to enriching the heritage of American modern dance and preserving the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience. By the time of Ailey's death in 1989, AAADT had grown into a large, multi-racial dance organization and one of the most respected and popular modern dance companies in the world.

American Ballet Caravan Music Scores, 1935-1947

Ballet Caravan (later American Ballet Caravan) was founded on July 17, 1936, at Bennington College, Vermont, by American impresario, arts patron, historian, critic, theorist, editor, and ballet director Lincoln Kirstein (b. May 4, 1907, Rochester, NY; d. January 5, 1996, Manhattan, NY). He established this organization as a means to develop choreographic ideas in ballet, and he aimed to develop a national style of dance that would break away from the prevailing European, primarily Russian, influence in ballet.

This collection includes Lincoln Kirstein correspondence and other materials and Benjamin Britten scores.

Andrews Sisters Collection, 1940-2011

The Andrews Sisters—LaVerne (b. July 6, 1911; d. May 8, 1967), Maxene (b. January 3, 1916; d. October 21, 1996), and Patty (b. February 16, 1918; d. January 30, 2013)—were an American vocal trio formed in 1932, and who became stars of radio, television, film, and live performances, especially from World War II through the 1960s. Their close-harmony in swing, boogie-woogie, top 10, and other genres made them among the best-known and best-loved performing groups in the world.

This collection includes Maxene Andrews materials.

Howard Ashman Papers, 1973-2010

Howard Ashman (b. May 17, 1950, Baltimore, MD; d. March 14, 1991, New York, NY) was a lyricist, librettist, playwright and director. The papers consist chiefly of materials from his work, including his collaborations with composer Alan Menken, such as Little Shop of Horrors and the Disney animated musicals The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.

Samuel Barber Collection, 1852-2000

Samuel Barber (b. March 9, 1910, West Chester, PA; d. January 23, 1981, New York, NY) was one of the most honored and most frequently performed American composers in Europe and the Americas in the mid-20th century. He received numerous awards and prizes, including the Rome Prize, two Pulitzers, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

This collection also includes Gian Carlo Menotti biographical materials, correspondence, writings, and photographs; and Valentin Herranz correspondence, photographs, artwork, and writings.

Leonard Bernstein Collection, circa 1900-1990

Leonard Bernstein (b. August 25, 1918, Lawrence, MA; d. October 14, 1990, New York, NY) was an American composer, conductor, pianist, writer, and lecturer. The collection contains music manuscripts for most of Bernstein’s compositions. In addition, there is correspondence, photographs, writings, personal business papers, the archives from Bernstein's corporate organization, Amberson Inc., scrapbooks, clippings and press materials, programs, datebooks and schedules, iconography, and fan mail.

This collection includes correspondence with and photographs of Marc Blitzstein, Aaron Copland, David Diamond, Gian Carlo Menotti, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Jerome Robbins, Ned Rorem, Stephen Sondheim, Michael Tilson Thomas, Virgil Thomson, and Franco Zeffirelli.

Mildred Spiegel Zucker Collection of Leonard Bernstein Correspondence and Related Materials, 1936-1991

Music teacher Mildred Spiegel Zucker (b. June 12, 1916, Boston, MA; d. May 5, 2017) was a childhood friend of Leonard Bernstein, with whom she maintained a lifelong friendship. The collection includes postcards, letters, telegrams and cards that Bernstein sent Mildred Spiegel, later Mildred Spiegel Zucker.

This collection includes Leonard Bernstein materials, as noted above, as well as Aaron Copland materials and Dimitri Mitropoulos materials.

Ralph Burns Papers, circa 1950-1999

Ralph Burns (b. June 29, 1922 Newton, MA; d November 29, 2001, Los Angeles, CA) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and arranger. Burns worked in the big bands led by Charlie Barnet and Woody Herman and created songs for many singers. By the early 1960s Burns was also active on Broadway, writing orchestrations for Funny Girl, Sweet Charity and other musicals. His first movie credit was Woody Allen's Bananas, but the film that established him in Hollywood was Cabaret, which he orchestrated and for which he composed new music.

Aaron Copland Collection, 1841-1991

Composer Aaron Copland (b. November 14, 1900, Brooklyn, NY; d. December 2, 1990, Sleepy Hollow, NY) studied composition and orchestration with Nadia Boulanger in Paris from 1921 until 1924. He was the recipient of the 1925-1926 Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, the first in music. Copland performed his own music as pianist and conductor and also conducted music of other composers. He was also active as an administrator, founding festivals and concert series and in publishing contemporary music.

This collection also includes Leonard Bernstein correspondence, Benjamin Britten correspondence, Virgil Thomson correspondence, and photographs and artwork by Victor Kraft.

Henry Cowell Music Manuscripts, 1909-1965

Henry Dixon Cowell (b. March 11, 1897, Menlo Park, CA; d. Dec. 10, 1965, Shady, NY) was an American composer, writer, pianist, publisher, and teacher. He is known as one of the most innovative American composers of the 20th century. Cowell founded a quarterly journal New Music, which later expanded into a record label and score publishing concern.

Oliver Daniel Papers, 1759-1997

Oliver Daniel (b. November 24, 1911, De Pere, WI; d. December 30, 1990, Scarsdale, NY) was an American arts administrator, pianist, musicologist, composer, and radio director and producer. He was vice-president of Broadcast Music, Inc. and wrote an important book on Leopold Stokowski.

This collection also includes subject files on and correspondence with Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Henry Cowell, David Diamond, Lou Harrison, Hans Werner Henze, Colin McPhee, Gian Carlo Menotti, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Harry Partch, and Ned Rorem.

Serge Diaghilev/Serge Lifar Collection, 1750-1950

Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (b. March 31, 1872, Gruzino, Novgorod province, Russia; d. August 19, 1929, Venice, Italy) was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes from which many famous dancers and choreographers would later arise. Serge Lifar (b. April 15, 1905, Kyiv, Ukraine; d. December 15, 1986, Lausanne, Switzerland) was introduced to dance in 1920 by Bronislava Nijinska, under whom he began to study. Brought to France to join Serge Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, Lifar studied with the eminent teacher Enrico Cecchetti and became premier danseur of the company. He created the title roles in a number of George Balanchine's early ballets, including The Prodigal Son. After Diaghilev's death in 1929 Lifar joined the Paris Opera Ballet as premier danseur and ballet master.

David Diamond Papers, 1915-2003

David Diamond (b. July 9, 1915, Rochester, NY; d. June 13, 2005, Rochester, NY) was an award-winning American-Jewish composer and prominent symphonist of the mid-twentieth century. A student of Roger Sessions and Nadia Boulanger, Diamond composed eleven symphonies and many chamber and vocal works. A professor of composition at the Juilliard School, from 1973 until 1997 Diamond also shaped and inspired a generation of American composers.

This collection also includes scores, writings on and correspondence with Leonard Bernstein; Marc Blitzstein correspondence, scores, photographs, and subject files; scores, writings on and correspondence with Aaron Copland; Dimitri Mitropoulos photographs and subject files; and Ned Rorem scores, correspondence, and subject files.

Benjamin Garber Papers, 1916-2000

Benjamin Garber (b. 1927, Harrisonburg, VA; d. September 26, 2001, Miami, FL) was a distinguished American interior designer and art collector who enjoyed a close personal relationship with modern dance icon Martha Graham until the mid-1970s. While studying dance with Graham, he also studied painting and drawing with Amédée Ozenfant and Hans Hofmann, enrolled in Louis Horst's choreography class, and attended Eugene O'Neill's poetry and literature classes at The New School.

This collection also includes photographs by Cecil Beaton; personal papers of William C. Kennedy; photographs by Angus McBean; and photographs of Bertram Ross.

Arthur Gold and Robert Fizdale Collection of Music Manuscripts, 1948-1962

Arthur Gold (b. February 6, 1917, Toronto, Ontario; d. January 3, 1990, New York, NY) and Robert Fizdale (b. April 12, 1920; d. December 6, 1995) were two pianists who met while studying at the Juilliard School. In 1944 they formed a duo that continued until their retirement in 1982. They were well known among American and European composers, and they commissioned several important duo-piano works.

This collection also includes scores by Francis Poulenc and Henri Sauguet.

Jack Gottlieb Papers, 1930s-2005

Jack Gottlieb (b. October 12, 1930, New Rochelle, NY; d. February 23, 2011, New York, NY) was an American composer and an authority on the influence of Jewish popular, folk, theatrical, and liturgical music traditions on the rise of American popular music. Gottlieb was a leading authority on the music of Leonard Bernstein; from 1958 to 1966 Gottlieb was Bernstein's assistant at the New York Philharmonic, and in 1977 he became publications director of Bernstein’s organization, Amberson Enterprises.

This collection also includes Leonard Bernstein materials.

Edward Greenfield Collection, 1950-1958

Edward Greenfield (b. July 20, 1928, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex; d. July 1, 2015, London, England) was an English music critic and writer on music whose career with the Guardian spanned from 1964 to 1993. He was also a regular contributor to Gramophone and a familiar radio voice, to which he would add the co-editorship of what later became the Penguin Record Guide.

Erick Hawkins and Lucia Dlugoszewski Papers, 1909-2002

Erick Hawkins (b. April 23, 1909, Trinidad, CO; d. November 23, 1994, New York, NY) was a choreographer, dancer, and founder of the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. He was closely associated with Martha Graham. His styles of dance included references to American folk idiom and to abstract expressionism, with frequent references to eastern theatrical style. He often collaborated with composer, writer, and choreographer Lucia Dlugoszewski (b. June 16, 1925, Detroit, MI; d. April 11, 2000, New York, NY), whom he married in 1962. Dlugoszewski was known for her experimental compositions and often created her own percussion instruments, including the timbre piano.

This collection also includes Aaron Copland scores and correspondence, Henry Cowell scores and correspondence, Lou Harrison scores and correspondence, Lincoln Kirstein correspondence, Ned Rorem correspondence, and Virgil Thomson scores and correspondence.

Jerry Herman Collection, 1950-2003

Jerry Herman (b. July 10, 1931, New York, NY; d. December 26, 2019, Miami, FL) was a composer and lyricist of Broadway musicals. He found particular success in the 1960s with Hello, Dolly! and Mame, but his style seemed somewhat out-of-step with the turbulent 1970s, although he and many others regard his score for Mack and Mabel (1974) as his best. He found renewed success with La Cage aux Folles (1983).

The collection also includes Jerome Lawrence materials, Harvey Fierstein materials, and Arthur Laurents materials.

Lester Horton Dance Theater Collection, 1918-1996

Lester Horton (b. January 23, 1906, Indianapolis, IN; d. November 2, 1953, Los Angeles, CA) was an American choreographer, dancer, and teacher. His initial interest in movement was inspired by Native American dance and by performances of modern dancers such as Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn and the Denishawn Dancers. Throughout his career, Horton combined dance and drama into complete theatrical experience. He was intimately involved in creating all aspects of a production: costumes, sets, lighting, and music as well as scenarios and choreography.

This collection also includes Alvin Ailey correspondence, William Bowne correspondence and costume designs, Merce Cunningham correspondence, Frank Eng writings, correspondence, and papers, and Michio Ito correspondence.

Larry Warren Collection on Anna Sokolow and Lester Horton, 1930-2009

Larry Warren (1932-2009) was a dance biographer, choreographer, teacher, and director. He wrote two dance books, Lester Horton: Modern Dance Pioneer (1991) and Anna Sokolow: The Rebellious Spirit (1998). The collection primarily documents the life and career of American dancers, Anna Sokolow (b. February 9, 1910, Hartford, CT; d. March 29, 2000, Manhattan, NY) and Lester Horton (b. January 23, 1906, Indianapolis, IN; d. November 2, 1953, Los Angeles, CA).

This collection includes Lester Horton materials, as noted above.

Florence Klotz Costume Designs, 1971-1985

Florence Klotz (b. October 28, 1920, Brooklyn, NY; d. November 1, 2006, Manhattan, NY) was a costume designer noted for her work on Broadway as well as in Hollywood. Among her collaborators were Jerome Robbins and Harold Prince; all six of her Tony Awards were for shows directed by Prince. The collection contains materials for five Broadway productions and one film adaptation: Follies (1971), Grind (1985), A Little Night Music (1973; film, 1977), On the Twentieth Century (1978), and Pacific Overtures (1976).

As noted above, this collection also includes materials for three shows by Stephen Sondheim: Follies, A Little Night Music, and Pacific Overtures.

Alvina Krause Papers, 1930s-1970s

Alvina Krause (b. January 28, 1893, New Lisbon, WI; d. December 31, 1981, Bloomsburg, PA) was an American drama teacher and theater director. Krause attended Northwestern for her bachelor's degree in speech (1928) and she earned her master's degree there in 1933. During her 34 years at Northwestern, Krause attained the position of associate professor and designed a comprehensive four-year training program in acting. In 1945 Krause and her longtime companion Lucy McCammon leased the Playhouse in Eaglesmere, a popular summer resort town north of Bloomsburg, PA.

Arthur Laurents Papers, Circa 1900-2011

Arthur Laurents (b. July 14, 1917, Brooklyn, NY; d. May 5, 2011, Manhattan, NY) was an American playwright, screenwriter and Broadway director. He wrote the books for several landmark Broadway musicals including West Side Story, Gypsy (which he also directed), and Hallelujah, Baby!. As well, he wrote the novel and the screenplay for the film The Way We Were and the screenplay for The Turning Point.

This collection also includes Leonard Bernstein correspondence and project files; Farley Granger photographs; Tom Hatcher photographs and correspondence; Jerry Herman correspondence and project files; Jerome Robbins correspondence; and Stephen Sondheim correspondence and project files.

Andrew Lippa Papers

Andrew Lippa (b. December 22, 1964, Leeds, England) is an American composer, lyricist, book writer, performer, and producer. Lippa began his musical theater career in the early 1990s, and he wrote his first musical, John & Jen in 1993. Subsequent notable successes have been The Addams Family and Big Fish, for which he wrote both the music and lyrics. The collection includes manuscript scores, musical sketches, lyrics and lyric sketches, librettos, programs, and recordings. Along with materials from his musicals, there are also student works, individual songs, and specialty material.

John Herbert McDowell Papers, 1908-1983

John Herbert McDowell (b. December 21, 1926, Washington, D.C.; d. September 3, 1985, Scarsdale, NY) was a composer of music for ballet and dance. He also composed for film, television, and theater. He became deeply involved with the emerging Judson Church Dance Theatre and New York Poets Theatre as well as La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, and worked with dancers/choreographers such as James Waring, Paul Taylor, and Elaine Summers throughout his career.

This collection also includes Joe Cino subject files; Samuel R. Delany Orchid materials; Maria Irene Fornes materials relating to The Successful Life of 3; Fred Herko subject files; H.M. Koutoukas subject files and writings; Frank O'Hara writings; Yvonne Rainer subject files; Gertrude Stein writings; Paul Taylor correspondence, programs, and subject files; Hunce Voelcker writings; and James Waring correspondence, programs, and subject files.

John McGlinn Collection, 1890s-2010

John McGlinn (b. September 18, 1953, Bryn Mawr, PA; d. February 14, 2009, New York, NY) was an American conductor and musical historian best known for his reconstructions, performances, and recordings of original Broadway orchestrations, including Show Boat and Anything Goes.

This collection also includes Cole Porter scores and libretti.

Carmen McRae Collection of Musical Arrangements and Other Materials, 1931-1993

Carmen McRae (b. April 8, 1920, New York, NY; d. November 10, 1994, Beverly Hills, CA) was an American jazz vocalist, pianist, recording artist and songwriter. She regarded Billie Holiday as her most significant influence, and McRae, in turn, became one of the most influential jazz singers of the twentieth century. Her international performing career spanned more than fifty years; she recorded more than sixty albums.

This collection also includes Ralph Burns arrangements.

Marilyn La Vine Collection of Rudolf Nureyev Materials, 1938-1993

Marilyn La Vine, a long-time Nureyev fan, organized the materials and contributed a chronology and biographical essay. The collection is a comprehensive collection of programs, photographs, periodicals, newspaper clippings, publicity materials, publications, and scrapbooks that document Nureyev's professional career as an internationally acclaimed dancer, actor, company director, and choreographer.

This collection includes Rudolf Nureyev materials, as noted above.

Cole Porter Collection, 1912-1957

Cole Porter (b. June 9, 1891, Peru, IN; d. October 15, 1964, Santa Monica, CA) was an American musical theater composer and songwriter. He enjoyed great success on Broadway beginning in the late 1920s, and later in Hollywood as well. Porter wrote the lyrics as well as the music for his songs, many of which are noted for their witty and urbane lyrics, and many of which have become enduring standards.

Richard Robbins Collection, 1976-2001

Richard Robbins (b. December 4, 1940, South Weymouth, MA; d. November 7, 2012, Rhinebeck, NY) was an American composer. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music, studied piano with Howard Goding, then studied in Vienna with Hilda Langer-Rühl, going on to become the director of the Music School at Rivers. He is well known for his evocative film scores for the films of Ismail Merchant and James Ivory.

Ned Rorem Collection, 1935-2006

Ned Rorem (b. October 23, 1923, Richmond, IN) is a composer and writer. He is particularly highly regarded for his vocal works and specifically for his art songs; in addition to his music, he is well known for his writings, having published several volumes of his diaries and collections of his correspondence. He lived In Paris from 1949-1958 where he mingled with the great cultural figures of the time. He returned to the United States in 1959 and served on the music teaching faculty at various universities eventually joining the faculty at the Curtis Institute in 1980 where he is now professor of composition emeritus.

This collection also includes Virgil Thomson correspondence, Gertrude Stein correspondence, and Paul Goodman correspondence.

Seeger Family Collection, 1880s-2010

The Seeger Family Collection documents the lives and careers of pioneering musicologist Charles Louis Seeger (b. December 14, 1886, Mexico City, Mexico; d. February 7, 1979, Bridgewater, CT), his second wife, modernist composer Ruth Crawford Seeger (b. July 3, 1901, East Liverpool, OH; d. November 18, 1953, Washington, D.C.), and their eldest daughter, folksinger and songwriter Peggy Seeger (b. June 17, 1935, New York, NY). It spans the period from 1886 to 2010, with the bulk of the materials falling between 1930 and 2000, and includes manuscript and printed music, transcriptions, song books, song sheets, and lyric sheets; correspondence; business and financial papers; writings including articles, reviews, and essays; class assignments, notes, and syllabi; promotional and publicity materials including posters; set lists, tour itineraries, and repertoire sheets; oral history transcripts; photographs and iconography; scrapbooks; vital records; awards and certificates; and realia.

This collection includes Peggy Seeger correspondence, scores, writings, photographs, and other materials, as noted above.

Oliver Smith Papers, 1942-1983

Oliver Smith (b. February 13, 1918, Waupun, WI; d. January 23, 1994, Brooklyn Heights, NY) was an American production designer, producer, and teacher, particularly known for his set designs for dozens of important Broadway productions of musicals and for some opera productions as well. During his career he won ten Tony awards.

Spoleto Festival Programs, 1958-2002

Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, South Carolina, is one of America's major performing arts festivals. It was founded in 1977 by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti, who sought to establish an American counterpart to the Festival dei Due Mondi (The Festival of Two Worlds) in Spoleto, Italy. The annual 17-day late-spring event showcases both established and emerging artists in more than 150 performances of opera, dance, theater, classical music, and jazz.

This collection includes Gian Carlo Menotti materials.

Billy Strayhorn Music Manuscripts and Estate Papers, 1918-2015

Billy Strayhorn (b. November 29, 1915, Dayton, OH; d. May 31, 1967, New York, NY) was an American jazz composer, arranger, and pianist, prominently known for his work with the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Strayhorn studied classical music at the Pittsburgh Musical Institute, and he joined Ellington's band in 1939, at the age of twenty four. Strayhorn's own music is internationally known and frequently played. Strayhorn became a committed civil rights advocate and was a close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Louise Talma Papers, 1861-1998

Louise Talma (b. October 31, 1906, Arcachon, France; d. August 13, 1996, Yaddo Artist Colony, Saratoga Springs, NY) was an American composer, pianist, and teacher. Her compositions include orchestral, chamber, piano, and vocal music, and one opera, Alcestiad, to a libretto by Thornton Wilder, which was the first full-scale opera by an American woman to be staged in Europe.

This collection includes Leonard Bernstein correspondence, scores, subject files, and photographs; Aaron Copland correspondence, subject files, and photographs; David Diamond correspondence and photographs; Daniel Pinkham correspondence and scores; Ned Rorem correspondence and photographs; Virgil Thomson correspondence; and Thornton Wilder correspondence, subject files, and photographs.

Prentiss Taylor Collection, 1936-c. 1985

Prentiss Taylor (b. December 13, 1907, Washington, D.C.; d. October 7, 1991, Washington, D.C.) was an American illustrator, lithographer, and painter. Taylor established the Washington Wheat Press as a means for publishing, and within the paper were various poems and illustrations by Taylor as well as poems and prose by others. After 1931, Taylor worked primarily in the printmaking medium for the rest of his life, experimenting with various techniques and ultimately achieving a status as one of this country's great lithographers. Taylor depicted mostly realistic and narrative scenes of subjects and themes that reflected his personal interests in music, architecture, religion and social justice.

Judith Chazin-Bennahum Photograph Collection Relating to Antony Tudor, 1932-1971

Antony Tudor (b. April 4, 1908, London, England; d. April 19, 1987, New York, NY) was an English ballet dancer and choreographer. His choreography is documented in this collection of photographs which include such major choreographic works as Dark Elegies, Jardin aux Lilas, and Pillar of Fire. The collection was assembled by Judith Chazin-Bennahum (b. April 8, 1937, New York, NY), herself a choreographer, ballet dancer, professor, scholar, and author of numerous books and articles on dance and dance research.

Collection includes Antony Tudor materials, as noted above, as well as Hugh Laing photographs, Jerome Robbins photographs, and photographs by Angus McBean.

Miles White Costume Designs, 1942-1977

Miles White (b. July 27, 1914, Oakland, CA; d. February 17, 2000, New York, NY) was a leading American costume designer from the 1940s through the 1960s. He designed the costumes for the original Broadway productions of Oklahoma! and Carousel. The collection consists chiefly of finished designs and sketches, some of which are accompanied by fabric samples, notes, measurement cards, photographs, and other documents related to productions for which White served as principal designer.