This collection, spanning the years 1889–2003, consists of drawings from the architects and firms associated with Carnegie Hall, including William B. Tuthill, Kahn & Jacobs (Ely Jacques Kahn & Robert Allan Jacobs), John J. McNamara, and James Stewart Polshek.
The Correspondence and Autographs Collection consists of more than 200 items, ranging from correspondence about Leonard Bernstein’s appointment to the New York City Symphony WPA Project in 1941 to a letter from Marian Anderson’s voice teacher to a patron regarding her first Carnegie Hall appearance in 1921. There are also letters by Samuel Clemens (whose pen name was Mark Twain), Noel Coward, Franz Liszt, Leopold Stokowski, and others.
The Ephemera and Objects Collection consists of more than 300 items, ranging from a delegate’s button from the First Arbitration and Peace Conference of 1907 to a scarf worn by dancer Isadora Duncan. There are matchbook covers and menus from the Carnegie Hall Tavern, Edison light bulbs from the main auditorium ceiling, and Carnegie Hall–themed sheet music and commemorative postage stamps.
This collection contains music scores, musical quotations, letters, autographs, and calling cards from composers whose music has been performed at Carnegie Hall.
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The Photograph Collection documents the visual history of Carnegie Hall. Images of the building (including photos from its 1891 construction) and the participants in events that have taken place on the three stages are part of this collection.
The Posters Collection consists of promotional flyers, window cards, and large posters from a variety of Carnegie Hall events dating back to the 1890s. Some were displayed in cases on the exterior of the building; others would have been distributed by hand or by mail.
The Programs Collection documents the performances that have taken place on all three stages of Carnegie Hall, and consists of printed concert programs from 1891 to the present. Some gaps exist in the collection, primarily for the two smaller auditoriums.
Carnegie Hall’s audio collection consists of recordings of one-time performances by many of the world’s greatest musicians. The collection includes commercial releases, archival study recordings, and radio broadcasts in formats ranging from acetate and vinyl discs to analog and digital audio tape and compact discs.
Carnegie Hall’s video collection documents many of Carnegie Hall’s historic events. The collection consists of television broadcasts, commercial releases, documentaries, b-roll footage, newsreel clips, and archival study videos.
A wide variety of smaller collections constitute the remainder of the holdings of the Carnegie Hall Archives. These collections range from paintings and drawings by the artists associated with Carnegie Hall, including former tenants and employees; a small collection of batons from some of the world’s most respected conductors, including Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, and Arturo Toscanini; a variety of autograph books; a collection of materials related to Isaac Stern, the Carnegie Hall Corporation’s first president; a Tenants and Studios Collection with materials on the Carnegie Hall Studios; and a collection of tickets dating back to the hall’s Opening Night in 1891.