Scope and arrangement
Papers include correspondence, scripts, productions materials, scores, and financial information on Robbins theatrical productions, ballets, films, and television work including Bells are Ringing, Fiddler on the Roof, Funny Girl, Gypsy, Jerome Robbins' Broadway, The King and I, Mother Courage and her Children, Oh, Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' so Sad, On the Town, Peter Pan, West Side Story, the Ford 50th Anniversary Television Show, and others. Also includes materials on some unproduced projects including, Exception and the Rule, The Office, and his autobiographical work Poppa Piece.
Includes correspondence and working files for Robbins' work with the dance companies Ballets: U.S.A., American Ballet Theatre, and the New York City Ballet and others, the Festival of Two Worlds (Spoleto, Italy), the experimental American Theatre Laboratory, the Jerome Robbins Foundation, ann his personal properties.
The Jerome Robbins Papers are arranged in eleven series:
- 1944-2000; undated89 Boxes
This series consists of Jerome Robbins’ theatrical productions and includes his work as choreographer, director, and, even, uncredited show doctor. The series ranges from Robbins’ first show, On the Town, to his last Broadway effort, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. Included for many shows are correspondence, scripts, contracts, production and financial materials, clippings, and scores. Particularly rich in this material are West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, and Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. The first two contain information from the original productions, movie versions, as well as the many revivals, touring companies, and foreign productions that were spawned. This series also contains information on Jerome Robbins’ single opera production The Tender Land and his plays, Mother Courage and Her Children and Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Momma’s Hung You in the Closet and I’m Feelin’ So Sad. A musical such as Silk Stockings is of note in the collection as it was one that Robbins’ never worked on beyond the contract negotiation stage. Included among its material is correspondence, including a letter from Cole Porter, scripts, a contract, production notes and a little financial information.
- 1930-1996; undated33 Boxes
This series is mixture of productions that went through many workshops, such as Poppa Piece and The Exception and the Rule (also known as Race to Urga), a play given a full production but closed in previews, such as The Office, and many smaller shows that never went beyond the idea stage and are represented mainly by either a few notes or correspondence. Poppa Piece is the most substantial show in this series and is represented by a vast amount of notes and scenes kept in their original order showing the vast changes that went on as the piece was workshopped over the years.
- 3 Boxes
This series consists of correspondence, scripts, contracts, production materials, and scores from the television productions, Ford 50th Anniversary Show and Live From Studio 8H: An Evening with Jerome Robbins and members of the New York City Ballet. Not included in this series are the television versions of Peter Pan. These can be found in the first series, Theatrical Productions.
- 67 Boxes
This series contains correspondence, legal papers, administrative and production notes from the three companies with which Jerome Robbins was most involved: Ballets: U.S.A. and the New York City Ballet. Notably absent is information on his early work with American Ballet Theatre, which is only represented by some correspondence and later contracts. The series also consists of correspondence from various ballet companies from all parts of the world. This series is more representative of the administrative work of dance companies rather than the creative. Absent from this series are any choreographic notes or annotated scores from his work. When specific shows are noted, such as In the Night under New York City Ballet, the material contained includes correspondence, casting notes, contracts, rehearsal schedules, and a few technical notes.
- 61 Boxes
This series contains the records of the American Theatre Lab, Inc. Jerome Robbins established it in 1966 with the help of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He set it up to explore music-theater techniques, including such incorporating such forms as Noh drama. Robbins was to use a workshop setting for a period of a couple of years with a small group of performers. This series represents this project, both the artistic side, in the Projects sub-series, and the administrative side. The series continues after the American Theatre Lab, Inc. ended as an ongoing workshop as it documents such events as the renting of the original space.
- 1957-1994; undated33 Boxes
This series contains all the papers relating to the Lena Robbins Foundation, named after Jerome Robbins mother, and, after 1970, the Jerome Robbins Foundation. The foundation was set up in 1957 to aid in performers and performance pieces in dance, theater, and associative art forms. After the outbreak of AIDS, the fund was directed towards assisting those in need during this crisis also. This series demonstrates clearly both the running of this foundation and the organizations that received grants.
- 1950-1998; undated171 Boxes
This series is a very thorough look at Jerome Robbins’ business dealings and financial records from 1950 until the time of this death. It includes correspondence with accountants, account ledgers, bank statements, check stub logs, contributions/donations, office deposits, employee records, office expenditures, Christmas gift list, insurance policy payments, loans, maintenance services, medical bills, paid bills, petty cash receipts, property purchase, receipt daily diaries, rehearsal expense, royalties, sale of theater tickets, specific production financial records, statements of account, stocks, travel expenses, and personal expenditures. The stock portfolios are particularly extensive. Notably missing are his personal tax records.
- 1944-1999; undated27 Boxes
This series consists of such information as purchase contracts, rental agreements, bills relating to the upkeep of the properties, and taxes. Included are Jerome Robbins’ two New York City homes, 74th and 81st streets, Sneeden’s Landing, his Long Island homes, particularly the ones in Bridgehampton and Watermill, his Paris apartment, and his father’s home in Weehawken and then in Hollywood, Florida.
- 1956-199911 Boxes
This series includes the contracts from Jerome Robbins’ automotive, property, medical, and personal insurance, as well as employment insurance for his employees.
- 1940-2001 and undated82 Boxes
This series consists of Jerome Robbins’ office files relating to his business life. It should be noted that these files are strictly work related and do not cover his personal life. It is divided into the names, subjects, and office calendars.
- 1981 - 19873 Boxes
This series consists of very detailed oversized accounting reports.