Performing Arts and Allied Fields (Excluding Music) Collection Development Policy


Bobst Library collections support undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research in a broad variety of disciplines related to the performing arts. These fields, including: film and television history and production, acting technique, theatre history, dancing, dance history and choreography, dance and theatre education and therapy, and business administration, range from the practical, to the clinical, to the theoretical.

The following programs, arranged by School, represent the primary audiences for Bobst Library's collection of performing arts materials:

Tisch School of the Arts
Institute of Performing Arts

  • Acting B.F.A., M.F.A., Certificate
  • Dance B.F.A., M.F.A., Certificate
  • Design B.F.A., M.F.A., Certificate
  • Drama, Undergraduate B.F.A.
  • Performance Studies --see the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Institute of Film and Television

  • Film: B.F.A., M.F.A., Certificate
  • Television: B.F.A.
  • Dramatic Writing: B.F.A., M.F.A.
  • Cinema Studies B.F.A. -- see the Graduate School of Arts and Science for graduate-level programs

College of Arts and Sciences

Dramatic Literature, Theatre History, and the Cinema B.A.

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

  • Cinema Studies: M.A., Ph.D.
  • Performance Studies: M.A., Ph.D.

School of Education

  • Dance Education: M.A., D.A., Ed.D., Ph.D.
  • Drama Therapy: M.A.
  • Educational Theatre: M.A., Ed.D., Ph.D., Advanced Certificate
  • Performing Arts Administration: M.A.


  1. Language

    Primary language is English, but Italian, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese, Slavic and Near Eastern language materials are acquired selectively, most notably in Cinema Studies, Performance Studies, Dance Education, and Educational Theatre--those disciplines that offer Master's degrees or higher and approach their subjects primarily from a theoretical perspective.

  2. Geographical Areas

    Emphasis is on Western Europe, United States, Africa, Latin America, and East and South Asia. Materials from all other regions of the world are acquired selectively based on programmatic needs.

Types of Materials

Monographs, monographic series, serials, microforms, audio-visual, and electronic media are all acquired. See the Collection Development Policy for the Avery Fisher Center for Music and Media for specific guidelines pertaining to media.

Collection Focus, Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

  1. Film/Television/Radio

    Bobst's collections pertaining to film and television production have been growing, particularly in professional-level materials and production directories. Radio is an undergraduate level concentration only; little beyond the core materials are collected. Bobst's collections also include material on the entertainment industry in general, as well as materials concerned with individual studios and entertainment businesses, such as annual reports. Company-specific information is purchased and housed in the Social Science reference section.

  2. Dance/Dance Education

    Dance Therapy and Dance History have been areas of focus due to increased demand and interest from the faculty in both departments. These collections are supplemented by the outstanding collection available at the New York Public Libraries Performing Arts collection at Lincoln Center, although our collection will support undergraduate and basic graduate research.

  3. Drama/Acting/Dramatic Writing

    Bobst has an excellent collection of primary play texts, screenplays, and teleplays, housed in the open stacks, in the Closed Stack area on the A level, and in the Fales Library. Also purchased are audition tools such as monologues and audition preparation materials. Supplementing this is a solid core of standard play texts available at the New School for Social Research.

  4. Cinema Studies

    The Cinema Studies collection is particularly strong, supporting Ph.D. level research. A large number of microfilm sets, including Cinema Pressbooks of the Major Hollywood Studios and the Wisconsin-Warner Bros. Screenplay Series, and trade presses, including the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Film Daily and Film Daily Yearbook, supplement the print collection. Areas of collecting strength include silent film history and U.S. film history. Special Collections includes an extensive original screenplay collection, including draft screenplays from major Hollywood films, as well as international films. Beyond cinema specifically, this collection is growing rapidly in the area of Cultural Studies, expanding the theoretical boundaries beyond film to television and recreation. This collection is supplemented by collections at the New York Public Libraries Performing Arts Library at Lincoln Center and by the Museum of Modern Art.

  5. Performance Studies

    By its nature Performance Studies is an interdisciplinary program encompassing the performing arts, anthropology, local history, women's studies and other areas in the humanities, social sciences, and even the sciences. Bobst's collections are strongest in the performing arts, anthropology, and women's studies. The collections are outstanding in non-book formats, particularly videorecordings.

Other Resources

Bobst's holdings in all of the programs above are supplemented by those of The New School for Social Research, Parson's School of Design, and Cooper Union, within the consortium. These libraries tend to duplicate basic texts also owned by Bobst, which are useful when Bobst copies are unavailable.

Other collections within the New York Metropolitan Area that are available to students and faculty in the above disciplines include:

  • The New York Public Library, including the Performing Arts Library, the Science, Industry, and Business Library, and the Schomburg Center. The Billy Rose Theatre Collection and the Dance Collection, both at Lincoln Center, are of special interest.
  • The Museum of Modern Art subscribes to a number of cinema journals unavailable elsewhere in the City of New York, and owns a substantial film still collection, as well as prints of the films themselves.
  • Columbia University's collection contains standard print resources in the performing arts, many of which are also owned by Bobst Library.

Subject & Collection Levels

LC Class Subject ECS CCI DES


Including dance education, study and teaching, dancing as a profession, dance history, and technique



Including film history, study and teaching, laws and regulations and censorship


Silent Films

PN1995.9A26-1995.9A2 Film Acting B C D
PN1995.9P7-1995.975 Producing and Directing Films C C D
PN1995.9D6 Documentary Films C C D
PN1995.9.S6-1995.9.S61 Social Aspects of Film C C D
PN1995.9.W6- Women including feminism and Feminists C C D


Including history, study and teaching, social and gender issues and violence


Script writing technique



Including ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern periods

PN1560- and NX454.5.P38

Performance Art

PN1530-1559 Monologues & scene study B B C
PN1560-1590 The Performing Arts, Show Business B C D
PN1720-1861 Drama History C C D
PN2061-2071 Art of Acting B C D
PN2085-2091 Stage and Accessories B B C
PN3203-3299 Tableaux, Pageants, ìHappeningsî Etc. B B C
NX760-764 Administration of the arts C C D
GV1800-1860 Circuses, spectacles, etc. C C C
GT500-2320 Costumes B B D

Radio Brodcasting

In particular minorities, production and direction, gender issues

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