Stephen Sondheim Society Archive

Scope and Content

The Stephen Sondheim Society Archive documents the life and work of musical theatre composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim. The core of the collection was collected by antiquarian bookseller and Sondheim enthusiast Peter Wood- his collection later passed to the Society. Additional material has been added since, filling in gaps in the Peter Wood collection and documenting productions and publications that have occurred since it was transferred to the Society.

Both parts of the Collection contain a range of material on Stephen Sondheim and his work- notably programmes, leaflets, posters and press cuttings (including reviews of productions of his shows as well as general articles on Sondheim and his work). There are also journals, books, audio visual material and collectables. The Collection dates from Sondheim's earliest work to the present and will continue to be added to as his works continue to be performed.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Stephen Sondheim Society was established in 1993 to promote the works of the musical theatre composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim in the UK and elsewhere, and to build an appreciation and interest in them. The Society has a number of patrons connected to the world of musical theatre, including Sondheim himself. Their work includes running a website and forums dedicated to Sondheim, sharing news of performances of Sondheim’s shows and arranging trips to see them, and publishing a magazine on Sondheim’s work. They also run an annual competition for student performers, the Stephen Sondheim Society Performer of the Year awards (or SSSPOTY), as well as organising other events such as an annual garden party.

As part of their aim to educate others on the work of Sondheim, the Society has built up an archival collection relating to him and his work. The core of the Collection was formed by antiquarian bookseller Peter Wood which was then passed to the Society, and it has since continued to be added to. The Archive will continue to grow as more items are collected.


The Peter Wood materials has been catalogued in its original order. The remainder of the collection has been arranged by topic or show, with sections also representing large presentations by material from individual donors.

Access Information

Open to researchers by appointment- please email Appointments typically offered Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9am - 4.30pm. For more information on Kingston University Archives and Special Collections please see our website at

Acquisition Information

Being held on behalf of the Stephen Sondheim Society

Other Finding Aids

Also see our archives catalogue here

Books and audio visual items in the Collection can be found listed on our library catalogue

Conditions Governing Use

Some of the material cannot be copied due to its physical condition or copyright restrictions. Please send all copying requests to the Archive at


The collection is added to on a regular basis as Sondheim's works continue to be performed and the Society continues its work.