Thanks to a grant from the National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission with matching funds from East Carolina University, the entire historical archive of the Institute of Outdoor Theatre can now be searched online, having been preserved and cataloged in the special collections of the ECU Joyner Library.
This collection consists of the records of the Institute of Outdoor Theatre which was founded in 1963 and includes material related to over 600 outdoor theatres, some of which began operation in the 1920’s. Included are play scripts, correspondence, clippings, publicity material, video and audio recordings, feasibility studies, publications, reel-to-reel tapes, 35 mm slides, blueprints, and audition-related materials. Among the records included are 50 years of our annual attendance surveys for outdoor theatre and the conference programs for all of our annual conferences.
Researchers and outdoor theatre fans can see the full extent of this collection for the first time. A number of images and recorded interviews have also been digitized and can be downloaded. For research purposes, access to records which have not yet been digitized can be arranged through the website prior to a library visit.
- To visit the online archive click here
- To see a graphic of the website with directions on how to access different sections of the archive click this link
The collection is stored in 230.83 Cubic feet, 439 boxes 4 over-sized folders, consisting of play scripts, correspondence, clippings, publicity material, video and audio recordings, feasibility studies, publications, reel-to-reel tapes, 35 mm slides, blueprints, and audition-related materials.
The IOT and ECU are very proud of this project which is the result of a three year effort, and we are grateful to the National Archives for its support. We are now seeking additional funds to complete the full digitization of all records, as well as implementing plans to continue to regularly add to the archive so it will remain up-to-date. We encourage all outdoor theatres to send us historically significant materials related to their organizations so that they may be included in this unique historical resource.