Although we do not collect films or video recordings of foreign performing arts, we have an extensive collection of print and electronic material to support research in Film and Performing Arts Studies. Our collections include books about theatre and film, theoretical works, manifestos and criticism of individual films and productions of both classics and new plays, as well as memoirs of prominent actors, directors and artists.
About the collectionApart from general secondary sources we have sets of periodicals, such as Ezhegodnik imperatorskikh teatrov; Ezhegodnik petrogradskikh gosudarsvennykh teatrov; Rampa; V mire iskusstv; Kuranty iskusstva, literatury, teаtra i obshchestvennoĭ zhizni, Zhiznʹ iskusstva; Liubov’ k trem apel’sinam; Ėkran; Zrelishcha; Ėrmitazh: Iskusstvo trudi︠a︡shchimsi︠a︡; Novyi zritel’; Kino zhurnal ARK, etc. You can search on subjects “Theater” (American spelling), “Motion pictures”, “Performing arts, etc., plus “Russia”, “Ukraine”, “Belarus”, Soviet Union”. Enter keywords or titles in Cyrillic when searching for pre-1975 publications.
We have more than 100 titles issues by the publishing house Kinopechat, later Teakinopechat, in 1925-1930. The publishing house specialised in advertising leaflets and film criticism. Please search see teakinopechat publishing house collection.
Our collections are also strong in theatre design and we have books linked to the avant-garde movement in the theatre – search using terms such as “theater” (American spelling), “costumes” “stage design” “avant-garde” or specific names, e.g. Natalia Goncharova, Mikhail Larionov, Anatolii Petryt︠s︡ʹkyi, etc., or theatre companies “Ballets Russes”, “Vakhtangov”, etc.
Archival materials on microfilms [link to the help page on microfilms], such as The Meyerhold Theatre, 1920-1938; Mosfilm: Russia's propaganda on film, 1938-45; The Association of Workers of Revolutionary Cinematography (1923-1932) (from the holdings of RGALI – Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts) are also available.
What is available online?
Online publications include:
What is available in our Reading Rooms?Use Explore the British Library catalogue to search for printed material and microfilms.
These databases are available in our Reading Rooms:
- Early Russian cinema
- Iskusstvo kino (digital archive)
- Jewish Theater under Stalinism
- Russian Theater in the Early 20th century
- Screen and Stage
- Soviet Cinema Online - Archival Documents from RGALI, 1923-1935
- Soviet Cinema Online - Periodicals and Newspapers 1918-1942
- The Yearbook of the Imperial Theaters
What is available in other organisations?
Resources are available at the following organisation:
- Belarusian State Archive of Film and Photo Documents
- Belarusian State Archive of Literature and Arts
- Russian State Archive of Literature and Arts
- Russian State Archive of Film and Photo Documents
- Theatre Museum named after A. A. Bakhrushin
- Ukrainian Central State Archive of Audio, Film and Photo Documents named after G. S. Pshenychnyi
- Ukrainian State Museum-Archive of Literature and Arts