Housed in Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library, the Geraldine Womack and Norman D. Philbrick Library of Dramatic Arts and Theatre History is a major research collection on the history of English and American drama of the late seventeenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. Many of the greatest names in English theater, David Garrick, Edmund Kean, Sarah Siddons, the several members of the Kemble family, Henry Irving, and Ellen Terry, among many others, are represented here in original manuscripts, published memoirs, biographies, and portraits. There are important editions of Shakespeare, including the second Folio (1632) and prompt books, and good scholarly books on theater history as well.
In total, the Philbrick Library consists of over ten thousand books, pamphlets, and periodicals; letters, framed portraits, posters, photographs, and set and costume designs; a large collection of loose portraits; English and American playbills; manuscripts; and several stage models.
Among the important unique resources in the Philbrick Library are two thousand pieces of correspondence and printed ephemera by well-known individuals associated with the theater. Digitized here are the letters from the Keans, Sarah Siddons, Henry Irving, and other noted figures. As more letters and ephemera are digitized, they will be added to the digital collection until all of theatrical correspondence is available online.
The late Dr. and Mrs. Philbrick both graduated from Pomona College. Their collection was dedicated in Honnold Library on November 8, 1986.