The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre at Goodspeed is one of the most extensive musical theatre research facilities in the United States. The collection boasts more than 70,000 items, providing an invaluable resource to academics and professionals around the world. Dedicated to preserving the rich legacy of the art form, the library carefully maintains a comprehensive collection of scores, sheet music, scripts, original cast recordings, programs, photographs, and theatre memorabilia in a facility located in East Haddam, Connecticut. Currently, these reference tools are utilized by Goodspeed staff and the musical theatre community at large in the re-creation and revitalization of period musicals and in the creation and development of new works.
Established in the 1970s to provide historical research for Goodspeed productions, the library has evolved into a valuable resource for theatres across the country, as well as students, scholars and the public. The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre is the only specialized library in the country directly connected to a fully professional producing musical theatre.
Our collection includes:
Recordings: Sound recordings from the turn of the century to the present in all formats, highlighted by original musical cast recordings, operettas, and film musical soundtracks.
Printed Music: Sheet music, scores and song books from the 1850s to the present.
Books and Scripts: Reference books, biographies, periodicals, and music libretti.
Videos: A film musicals collection, funded in part by Xerox Foundation, Inc., and archival videos of Goodspeed productions.
Theatre Programs: Programs and souvenir books from Broadway and around the world.
Photographs: Production and personality photographs from a variety of shows and recordings.
Memorabilia: Theatre ephemera, news clippings, scrapbooks, and posters.
Managed by Joshua S. Ritter, our Education & Library Director, the library’s non-circulating collection is fully accessible with viewing and listening equipment available on site. The materials in the Library of Musical Theatre are available to the public for reference and research by appointment only, which may be made Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or by special arrangement.
The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre at Goodspeed relies solely on contributions for the growth of its collection. During the past three decades, the library has benefited from the generosity of many musical theatre professionals, collectors and enthusiasts, who have donated thousands of rare and important performance materials.
The Library’s Special Collections
The Carol & Frank Tuit Record Collection: An extensive collection of music by George Gershwin on tape, vinyl and acetate, including rare recordings.
Goodspeed Opera House Archives: Historical information on the Goodspeed Opera House, as well as libretti, scores, videos, orchestrations, and memorabilia from productions.
The Josef Weinberger Collection: An extensive collection of libretti and scores donated by Josef Weinberger, London.
The Judge David I. Harfeld Collection: an extensive collection of vinyl recordings, cds, memorabilia, photographs, news clippings, reviews, and videos.
The Michael Kuchwara Collection: Plays, scores, libretti, playbills and books. Established in his memory by his family and friends.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Sheet Music Library: The Department of Music Services donated its extensive collection of sheet music, which contains more than 30,000 titles dating back to the turn of the century, used in the heyday of radio and the early days of live television.
Music Theatre International Libretti and Scores: A complete collection of libretti and scores from musicals licensed by Music Theatre International.
The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Libretti & Scores: A complete collection of libretti from musicals licensed by The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.
The Crowley-Stoll Collection: Memorabilia and audio and video recordings covering a wide range of 20th and 21st Century musical theatre. With special thanks to Alex Membreno.
The Scherer Library Advisory Board
Members of the Library Advisory Board are a group of distinguished scholars, musical theatre historians, collectors, and prominent members of the professional community who guide and direct the growth of the Library as an important musical theatre archive.
Ken Bloom, Author and Historian
Theodore S. Chapin, President of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization
Alvin Deutsch, Theatre Attorney
Brian Drutman, Director of Decca Broadway
Michael Kerker, Director of Musical Theatre for ASCAP
Attorney Robert Kimball, Author and Head of the Cole Porter Estate
Bruce Pomahac, Director of Music at The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization
Bill Rosenfield, Recording Executive
Henry Scherer, Historian
Steven Suskin, Author
Goodspeed welcomes the donation of materials relating to musical theatre or financial gifts to the Library. For more information, please contact Joshua S. Ritter at 860.873.8664, ext. 745 or firstname.lastname@example.org.