The theatre collection covers a century of Russian and Soviet
theatre history, with detailed materials on the 1920s-30s. It
is of interest to researchers and general readers.
It includes the writings of theatre practitioners such as Meyerhold,
Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov and Nemirovich-Danchenko. The history
of theatre covers the great theatre companies (Moscow Arts Theatre,
Maly, etc) and Soviet children's theatre, among others. There
is also theatre criticism, material on theatre design and stagecraft,
and a range of Soviet theatre yearbooks. Finally, the collection
includes memoirs and biographies of directors, actors and designers.
Titles are in English and Russian. For researchers, the loan
collection is supplemented by reference books on theatre design
in the art collection and
theatre photographs from the 1920s-30s in the Huntly
Carter Collection within the photo library. There are also
back issues of a variety of Soviet theatre magazines.
The cinema collection includes theoretical works on Soviet cinema,
in-depth analyses of individual films, published scripts, and
memoirs, autobiographies and biographies of film practitioners.
It is of interest to film historians.
Directors such as Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov and Dovzhenko
helped create the language of cinema and make Soviet films among
the most innovative in the world. While these names dominate,
there were others such as Barnet, Kozintsev and Trauberg, Medvedkin
and, more recently, Paradzhanov, Tarkovsky and Muratova. The cinema
collection covers all these directors, but also lesser known names,
including pre-revolutionary cinema.
By the 1920s the development of theoretical approaches had become
important. Eisenstein is one of cinema's greatest theoreticians
and he is central to the Society's collection, but there are also
books by Pudovkin and others. In addition, there are several in-depth
analyses of individual films (from the earliest to modern classics)
by internationally respected critics and academics. The collection
also holds a significant number of published scripts of classic
Soviet films in English and Russian.
Alongside film directors, the collection includes memoirs, autobiographies
and biographies of Soviet actors, cinematographers and other cinema
The collection is supplemented by 16mm films of Soviet classics,
occasionally shown at SCRSS events, and some DVDs. They are available
for consultation on the premises only. There are also back issues
of a variety of Soviet film magazines.