The rhythmic beat of dancing feet punishing the parquet! The hills alive with the sound of music! The dulcet tones from the stage of Shakespeare's Globe Theatre! The flicker of light reflecting from the silver screen combined with a cast of thousands gathered together to bring the magic of the world of entertainment to life! The exciting and colorful history of theatre, film and dance, highlighting all the thrills, chills and adventure, is showcased in the Performing Arts Collections of the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts in the Smathers Libraries' Department of Special Collections on the campus to the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL).
Founded in 1958 by Sarah Yancy Belknap, a New York Librarian and an avid patron of the arts, the Belknap Collection is an eclectic mixture of mainly non-book, primary research materials. Nearly 85% of the collection is ephemera from 19th and 20th Century Europe and America. The archive includes more than 60,000 playbills, programs, costume and stage designs, sheet music, theatrical scrapbooks, prints, etchings, drawings, photographs, posters, and scripts spanning all of the performing arts. The Belknap Collection also includes essential reference books, rare and large pictorial books, and relevant performing arts periodicals.