Billy Rose Theatre Division in the New York Public Library Billy Rose Theatre Division in the New York Public Library Originally known as William Samuel Rosenberg, Billy Rose was a celebrated writer, producer, director and lyricist based in New York. He was the writer of lyrics of some of the most celebrated songs in the 1920s such as “Me and My Shadow.” Born in 1899, Billy Rose was brought up in Manhattan. He schooled at New York City’s High School of Commerce. He served shortly as a reporter after the war in 1917 with the War Industries Board. His pioneer show, known as “sweet and low,” first came in 1930. After that, he produced a series of other musical revues.
Initiated in 1932, the Billy Rose division has over 10 million collections of theatrical art that document drama, music and film. The division housed numerous traditional books and journals on theatrical arts. It was also meant to contain an array of personal papers. Besides personal papers, the division has a collection of organizational records. It houses an archive on the theatre of film. It has collections legendary artists including Richard Rodgers and Hal Prince. The papers of Betty Comden and Clifford Odets are also housed in the division. Most importantly, it houses the works of William Shakespeare including records of festivals on Shakespeare’s works. At the division, visitors to the library can examine historical performances on Shakespeare, for instance, to years dating back to as early as 1767 (The New York Public Library, 2015). The division serves as an invaluable resource for diverse groups including researchers and scholars. Writers and students also find the division resourceful because of the various documentation that are informative and useful for learning. Artists and other members of the public also find the resources at the division interesting.
The New York Public Library. (2015). About the Billy Rose Theatre Division. Retrieved June 3, 2015 from http://www.nypl.