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Theatre and Cinema


The theatre collection covers a century of Russian and Soviet theatre history, with detailed materials on the 1920s-30s. It is of interest to researchers and general readers.

It includes the writings of theatre practitioners such as Meyerhold, Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov and Nemirovich-Danchenko. The history of theatre covers the great theatre companies (Moscow Arts Theatre, Maly, etc) and Soviet children's theatre, among others. There is also theatre criticism, material on theatre design and stagecraft, and a range of Soviet theatre yearbooks. Finally, the collection includes memoirs and biographies of directors, actors and designers.

Titles are in English and Russian. For researchers, the loan collection is supplemented by reference books on theatre design in the art collection and theatre photographs from the 1920s-30s in the Huntly Carter Collection within the photo library. There are also back issues of a variety of Soviet theatre magazines.


The cinema collection includes theoretical works on Soviet cinema, in-depth analyses of individual films, published scripts, and memoirs, autobiographies and biographies of film practitioners. It is of interest to film historians.

Directors such as Eisenstein, Pudovkin, Vertov and Dovzhenko helped create the language of cinema and make Soviet films among the most innovative in the world. While these names dominate, there were others such as Barnet, Kozintsev and Trauberg, Medvedkin and, more recently, Paradzhanov, Tarkovsky and Muratova. The cinema collection covers all these directors, but also lesser known names, including pre-revolutionary cinema.

By the 1920s the development of theoretical approaches had become important. Eisenstein is one of cinema's greatest theoreticians and he is central to the Society's collection, but there are also books by Pudovkin and others. In addition, there are several in-depth analyses of individual films (from the earliest to modern classics) by internationally respected critics and academics. The collection also holds a significant number of published scripts of classic Soviet films in English and Russian.

Alongside film directors, the collection includes memoirs, autobiographies and biographies of Soviet actors, cinematographers and other cinema workers.

The collection is supplemented by 16mm films of Soviet classics, occasionally shown at SCRSS events, and some DVDs. They are available for consultation on the premises only. There are also back issues of a variety of Soviet film magazines.


Theatre programme for Mayakovsky's The Bedbug, production by Teatr Satyry, Moscow, 1955 (SCRSS Library)


Related Links

SCRSS Online Catalogue

Huntly Carter Collection


Still from Sergei Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin, 1925 (SCRSS Photo Library)