History of the Performing Arts
From masks and costumes to puppets, posters, models and miniature theatres.
The performing arts include dance, theatre and music. This field contains abundant collections providing a colourful picture of the history of the podium arts. Music, the stage, dance and the circus in particular are well represented. A smaller section is devoted to cabaret, opera, operetta, mime and puppetry.
Owing to the interest in Dutch literature, librarians at an early stage included plays in the Amsterdam City Library, the precursor of the University Library. The collection was supplemented in the 19th century with major donations and purchases of old plays and programmes. The collection of the Theater Instituut Nederland (Theatrical Institute of the Netherlands) was transferred to the University Library in 2012. This meant that material from all theatre and dance genres from the 17th century onwards fell under Allard Pierson control. More than half a million items are involved, from masks and costumes to puppets, posters, models and miniature theatres.