Special Collections and University Archives

-Audrey Sage

Nestled within the Special Collections and University Archives is the Robert C. Hansen collection. 

This collection dates from circa 100 to 2020 (bulk 1800s-2000s) and contains programs, heralds, guidebooks and periodicals, playbooks, sheet music and songbooks, correspondence and autographs, original costume and scenery designs, posters, photographs, postcards, tradecards, scrapbooks, and other visual materials and memorabilia which document the history of the performing arts, mainly theatre, in many countries.

Part of the Hansen collection contains a variety of three dimensional objects.  In order to preserve and care for these items, custom made archival storage boxes are made. 

Specialty plates depicting scenes from Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Using special foam, a cozy niche is carved into which the object can safely and easily rest.  This ensures the protection of these delicate objects as they are moved about, keeping them from bumping into other items. It is fascinating to see these precious artifacts from long ago productions, keepsake treasures, or promotional materials to encourage attendance at special performances.

Wooden bust of actor Sir Henry Irving as Cardinal Richilieau
Bust and Base enclosed in specially constructed conservation box
Tools are used to carve archival foam in the shape of each object, allowing it to nestle safely within the enclosure

While the majority of the collection focuses on theatre, other performing arts genres represented include circus, concert, dance, film, minstrelsy, opera, and vaudeville. To read more about the collection visit this site:

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