The former Theater Instituut Nederland owns a collection of some 20,000 prints and drawings. They are part of the extensive and varied museum collection that was begun in 1925, when the Tooneelmuseum (Stage Museum) was founded thanks to the legacy of A.Th. Hartkamp. The collection includes a number of specific sub-collections, which we used as a source for this site. The items displayed on the website include 18th century prints depicting stage décors and Amsterdam playhouses, and 19th century prints of designs for décors and costumes, drawings featuring gestures, tableaux and portraits of theatre celebrities.
These items help illustrate the history of Dutch theatre and theatrical décors. The collection is further enhanced by the inclusion of designs for modern décors and costumes (i.e. scenography) covering the period from around 1900 through to the 21st century. Written sources on the subject are scarce. Therefore, the collections of the former Theater Instituut (since 2013 maintained by the Department of Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam) are of great importance for the study of Dutch theatre and art history.