The collection of Bob Golby (b. 1901) documents the work of the New York theater
photographer, 1931-1977, capturing Broadway stagings of plays, theater
personalities, and, to a lesser extent, dance and opera performances. The collection
is arranged in two series: I. Photographs, 1931-1977 (64 boxes, 560 oversize
folders), and II. Papers, 1936-1966 (2 boxes).
The Photographs series is arranged in four subseries: A. Theater Productions,
1931-1972, undated; B. Personalities and Places, 1936-1969, undated; C. Dance
Opera, 1934-1967, undated, and D. Other, 1953-1977. The theater photographs in
Subseries A form the largest group, documenting some 350 plays staged mainly in
York, including premiere productions, revivals, and classics. A few of these
productions were staged at Westport County Playhouse. Performance images and "personality" shots of numerous noted actors are
located in Subseries B; Katherine Cornell and the Lunts are particularly well
represented. The small Dance and Opera subseries includes photographs of
performances by the American Ballet Theatre, the Ballet Russe, and the Ballet
de Monte Carlo during the 1930s and 1940s. The final subseries, Other, contains
small number of photographs, mostly fashion or travel photography, and a box of
Golby's empty original print sleeves and containers.
The photographic materials consist mainly of 5x7" prints, along with a small number
of 2x3" proof prints, though groups of larger prints (8x10", 11x14", and a group
12x13" prints mounted to 16x20") are also present. The 5x7" prints are located
boxes 1-41, with larger prints located in boxes 42-47, and 12x13" mounted prints
oversize folders. The only color items, a small number of color transparencies,
located in folders 43.12-13. The Container List collocates all of the prints and
transparencies, regardless of size or location, into a single alphabetical listing
by show title or name of person.
The very small group of papers in Series II includes a few letters and notes by
Golby, a small collection of programs, and tearsheets and clippings either about
Golby or that include published versions of his photographs. The scrapbook in
series documents the 1936 production of On Your Toes.
In 2012, previously uncataloged negatives were added to the original inventory. The
negatives are located in boxes 50-64. Boxes 50-63 contain rolls of 35mm and 120
negatives. Box 64 contains individual frames or strips of negatives in various
formats as well as three glass plate lantern slides. The folder descriptions for
negatives have been integrated into the existing listing. High resolution images
the boxes where the rolls of negatives were originally stored are available in
reading room. Additionally, the labels that contained identifying information
removed from the boxes and are located in folder 43.22. Both provide evidence
original order of this part of the collection. An advance appointment is required
view photographic negatives in the Reading Room.