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Holak collection

Identifier: PA049

Scope and Content Note

This collection holds some of the earliest examples of theatrical designs for Masonic ceremonial staging. Represented by 174 colored renderings and 8 pencil sketches, they depict not only the Scottish Rite Temple of Freemasonry, but also the York Rite Temple of Freemasonry.


  • approximately 1908-1923


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

The collection is open and available for use by researchers in the Andersen Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on Use

Contact the archivist regarding copyright to these materials.

Historical Note

The Holak Collection focuses on the first generation of stage design for fraternal organizations by scenic studios located throughout the Eastern United States of America. Containing 182 pieces, this collection represents some of the first theatrical elements supplied to fraternal organizations during the late-nineteenth and the early-twentieth century. Although a majority of the collection represents the work of one studio, Sosman and Landis (Chicago, Illinois), other studios, such as The New York Studio, are identifiable. This collection was salvaged from an abandoned scenic studio in New York City in the late 1980s by Mr. Holak, a former employee of The New York Studio.


8 boxes


Collection contains 174 colored renderings and 8 pencil sketches of stage design for fraternal organizations.

Physical Location

High Bay

Other Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available. Please contact the Performing Arts Archives for details.


Purchased from Herb Gahagen in 1989 by the University of Minnesota Theatre Arts Department, the University Libraries and outside donors.

Alternate Form Available

The following is a link to an online database containing digitized versions of the renderings in this collection: Scenic Collections

Related Materials

The Performing Arts Archives at the University of Minnesota preserves multiple scenic design collections. For more information, please contact Performing Arts Archives Staff.

Materials in this collection have been digitized and are available online in Umedia by visiting:

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Wendy Rae Waszut, 1990-1991.

Holak collection
Karen Spilman
December 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Performing Arts Archives Collecting Area