Grant awarded to digitize Max Reinhardt Collection

Midsummer 1934 Rehearsal 1
Max Reinhardt directs a 1934 production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The South Central Regional Library Council (SCRLC) has awarded a $5,000 Regional Bibliographic Data Bases and Interlibrary Resources Sharing (RBDB) Grant to for the digitization and description of the Max Reinhardt Collection.

Once digitized, the collection will be made available via the  New York Heritage research portal and the Digital Public Library of America.

Max Reinhardt, c.1895
Max Reinhardt, c.1895

The collection documents the life of Max Reinhardt (1873-1943), celebrated Austrian theater director and filmmaker, and offers a singular historical record of many aspects in the study of theater and its history—acting, direction, stage design and costume design.

A man of few words, Reinhardt’s success was based on a combination of intelligence, passion, enormous energy, and the ability to focus on the most mundane details while keeping the larger picture in constant view. Reinhardt believed that exceptional acting was the most important aspect of any theatrical presentation. He also believed in theater-as-spectacle, and his elaborate, elegant sets and imaginative stagings reflected that belief. He knew well how to achieve dramatic effect with minimal stage effects and knew which approach to follow with each play he directed and produced. Reinhardt transformed theatrical production in the 20th century by playing a large part in the elevation of the director to the key figure in theatrical production and the innovative use of new theater technology and experimentation with theater spaces and locales.

During his lengthy international career, Reinhardt amply demonstrated his total commitment to artistic experimentation and the revelry of the creative imagination. He is still recognized worldwide today for his significant role in the transformation and development of theater.