The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre at Goodspeed is the only library dedicated solely to musical theatre in the world. The collection boasts more than 100,000 items, providing an invaluable resource to academics and professionals around the world. Dedicated to preserving the rich legacy of the art form, the library carefully maintains a comprehensive collection of scores, sheet music, scripts, original cast recordings, programs, photographs, and theatre memorabilia in a facility located in East Haddam, Connecticut. Currently, these reference tools are utilized by Goodspeed staff and the musical theatre community at large in the re-creation and revitalization of period musicals and in the creation and development of new works.
Established in the 1970s to provide historical research for Goodspeed productions, the library has evolved into a valuable resource for theatres across the country, as well as students, scholars and the public. The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre is the only specialized library in the country directly connected to a fully professional producing musical theatre.
Read a complete history of the Scherer Library of Musical Theatre
Michael Feinstein's American Songbook tours The Scherer library of Musical Theatre
Our collection includes:
Managed by Joshua S. Ritter, our Education Manager & Library Director, the library’s non-circulating collection is fully accessible with viewing and listening equipment available on site. The materials in the Library of Musical Theatre are available to the public for reference and research by appointment only, which may be made Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre at Goodspeed relies solely on contributions for the growth of its collection. During the past three decades, the library has benefited from the generosity of many musical theatre professionals, collectors and enthusiasts, who have donated thousands of rare and important performance materials.
The Library’s Special Collections
The Carol & Frank Tuit Record Collection: An extensive collection of music by George Gershwin on tape, vinyl and acetate, including rare recordings.
Goodspeed Opera House Archives: Historical information on the Goodspeed Opera House, as well as libretti, scores, videos, orchestrations, and memorabilia from productions.
Janice Grower Sheet Music Collections: Two of the finest and most outstanding collections of rare Irving Berlin and George Gershwin sheet music donated by Janice Grower. Janice Grower’s gift is made in honor of her son, Robert Grower, and her daughter, Kathy Grower Barkin.
The Josef Weinberger Collection: An extensive collection of libretti and scores donated by Josef Weinberger, London.
The Judge David I. Harfeld Collection: An extensive collection of vinyl recordings, cds, memorabilia, photographs, news clippings, reviews, and videos.
The Marnel Sumner Collection: A collection of original “Man of La Mancha” production documents and other assorted items compiled by Goodspeed’s Stage Manager for that production, Marnel Sumner. The collection was donated in his memory by his family.
The Michael Kuchwara Collection: Plays, scores, libretti, playbills and books. Established in his memory by his family and friends.
Musicarnival Audio Archive: Scherer Library and Cleveland Public Library are proud to house the Musicarnival Audio Archive, a rare collection of complete live recordings of musicals, operettas and operas performed at Cleveland’s famous tent theater-in-the-round between 1954 and 1965 (and its satellite theater in West Palm Beach, Florida, between 1958 and 1964). No similar body of recordings exists in America: They document a golden age of musical theater at a time when musical were in the center of American popular culture. Produced by John L. Price Jr., Musicarnival was a leader in the tent-theater movement of the 1950s and 60s, and the collection documents more than 100 productions, many of them staged by Don Driver (Your Own Thing) and featuring performers including Susan Johnson, Monte Amundsen, Tommy Rall, William Chapman, John Reardon and Mark Dawson. In addition, the young Beverly Sills stars in Tosca, Carmen, The Ballad of Baby Doe, and more. The recordings are accompanied by a 370-page book of annotations, and the musicals range from major works by Rodgers & Hammerstein and Lerner & Loewe to seldom-performed treasures such as Take Me Along, Milk and Honey, Bloomer Girl, and Fanny. Click HERE to read "Under the Tent: Notes on Musicarnival's Production Years, 1954-65".
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Sheet Music Library: The Department of Music Services donated its extensive collection of sheet music, which contains more than 30,000 titles dating back to the turn of the century, used in the heyday of radio and the early days of live television.
Music Theatre International Libretti and Scores: A complete collection of libretti and scores from musicals licensed by Music Theatre International.
The Patricia Hoag Simon Collection: Interviews with associates of Joshua Logan and taped seminars at Marymount Manhattan College from 1987 to 2010 with such individuals as Arthur Laurents, Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, and Chita Rivera. The collection was compiled by Patricia Hoag Simon, MFA; Associate Professor of Theatre; Marymount Manhattan College.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Libretti & Scores: A complete collection of libretti from musicals licensed by The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.
The Crowley-Stoll Collection: Memorabilia and audio and video recordings covering a wide range of 20th and 21st Century musical theatre. With special thanks to Alex Membreno.
Members of the Library Advisory Board are a group of distinguished scholars, musical theatre historians, collectors, and prominent members of the professional community who guide and direct the growth of the Library as an important musical theatre archive.
Goodspeed welcomes the donation of materials relating to musical theatre or financial gifts to the Library. For more information, please contact Joshua S. Ritter at 860.873.8664, ext. 522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Child Drama Collection at Arizona State University is the largest repository in the world documenting the international history of theatre for youth back to the 16th century. Included are: over 3,000 scripts, teacher resource guides, archives for playwrights and professional theatre companies for young audiences, photographs, video recordings, theatre memorabilia, and performing arts curricula. If you’re looking for musicals for pre-school through high school students to perform or for adults to perform for young people, please contact the curator, Katherine Krzys. For an overview of the collection, visit the Child Drama Library Guide.