Introduction

The UIUC Music and Performing Arts Library (MPAL) has received a grant to develop a small collection of The Phantom of the Opera items.  This collection will include materials related to both Gaston Leroux's original book, as well as Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical.  

The musical originally opened in the West End in 1986 and began Broadway productions in 1988.  It is still running and has over 9,000 performances.  It became the longest-running Broadway show ever, in January 2006, when it surpassed the record set by Cats.

This work has become a major part of musical theatre.  The story has enthralled millions and the music is admired by many more.  This collection will allow scholars and music lovers alike to increase their knowledge of The Phantom of the Opera.

Because this collection will be physical and have digital records, users from across the globe will be able to access the information contained within it. 

UIUC MPAL is an ideal location for this collection, as the library has the existing infrastructure and resources needed to develop, store, and preserve this collection.  The physical items are easily accessible to music students and professors at the University, but are also within a reasonable distance for the theatre and music communities of Chicago and surrounding areas.