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Historical Scenic Collection - Lyric Opera of Chicago

Identifier: PA059

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains 3,142 color slide reproductions of the scenic designs of the Historical Scenic Collection at Northern Illinois University. The slides document late 19th and early 20th century scenic art in American and European scene painting and opera design.


  • Creation: 1889-1932


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Use

Permission to copy materials in this collection must be obtained from Peter Kogan and Henry Denecke, Jr.

Restrictions on Access

The images are protected under copyright law. Contact the archivist for further information regarding copyright of these materials.

Historical Note

The Historical Scenic Collection is one of the largest scenic collections in the world, containing 90 opera settings, approximately 900 backdrops and over 2200 scenic units. The collection contains the scenic works of Oscar Hammerstein's Manhattan Opera Company, the Civic Opera Company of Chicago and the Lyric Opera of Chicago. The Historical Scenic Collection is housed at the Arts Annex of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University.


6 Volumes


Collection contains 3,142 color slide reproductions documenting the Historical Scenic Collection held at Northern Illinois University.


The collection is organized alphabetically by opera title.

Physical Location

AV Room

Additional Finding Aid

An unpublished finding aid with detailed contents is available.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


The collection was purchased from the Northern Illinois University School of Theatre Arts in 1998.

Historical Scenic Collection Lyric Opera of Chicago
Karen Spilman
January 2005
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