Scope and arrangement
The bulk of the collection is comprised of Heeley's scenic and costume design drawings for theatrical, ballet, and opera productions. Though some of his productions were staged in Europe or Australia, many in this collection were staged in New York City, other cities in the United States, or Canada. Most scenic designs are graphite on tracing paper, Diazotype prints, or blueprints. The costume designs are primarily original drawings or paintings made with gouache, watercolor, graphite, or ink on paper. Costume and scenic designs are filed together in the case of productions for which Heeley designed both. Fabric swatches are occasionally attached to costume design sketches for some productions. A few drawings and sketches by other designers, most notably Oliver Messel, are also included in this section.
Production files include production bibles of Brigadoon, Amadeus,La Sylphide, The Snow Maiden, and South Pacific, which hold scripts, set plans, contracts, and costume designs. An album of 19th Century postcards Heeley likely used for reference and inspiration is present. Other production files include a few production photographs and portraits of Heeley; notes; clippings; correspondence; and a file on a Christmas window display Heeley created for Tiffany & Co.
Three publications about Heeley's work are included: a folio of Amadeus costume designs; Dross into Gold, a catalog of a gallery exhibition on Heeley; and a small folio of reproductions of Heeley's paintings of cats anthropomorphized as theatrical characters.
The collection is divided into three groups: Designs; Production Files; and Publications. Files are arranged alphabetically by title.