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The American Theatre Architecture Archive (ATAA) is a constantly growing repository of materials that document the rich history of America’s theatres. Since its earliest days, the ATAA has relied on the trust and support of historians, scholars, owners, operators and enthusiasts to expand its holdings and covered subject matter. Countless items in the ATAA originated in personal Collections of people such as Ben M. Hall, Terry Helgesen, Edward T. Gibbs, Craig Morrison and David Naylor.

Once a part of the ATAA, your Collection will be processed (inventoried and described), cataloged, and stored in closed stacks (not accessible for browsing by the public) . Once cataloged, your materials will be made available online via our database and in-person for visiting researchers. Your materials will also be available for use in THS Press publications and other publications as arranged (unless prohibited by copyright or in the donation agreement) to assist THS in its mission to increase awareness of America’s theatres.

The mission of the ATAA is to collect, preserve, and make available to the public all information related to:

  • All buildings designed or primarily and regularly used for the exhibition of motion picture or stage presentations and the equipment related to those buildings.
  • All periods of American theatre design and construction.
  • Topics related to theatre buildings, their equipment and their operation (e.g. architects, stage and equipment designers, decorators, owners, builders, managers and front-of-house and backstage staff).

Materials that meet this criteria include:

  • Corporate and business records
  • Theatre industry trade publications
  • Artifacts from the theatres (including fragments of the building itself)
  • Blueprints
  • Information on theatre architects and designers
  • Personal snapshots (Interiors & exteriors, including slides, negatives, prints or digital images)
  • Video ( film or digital)
  • Other objects or documents which relate to theatre architecture.


To find out more about donating your Collection to THS, contact the Archive Director.