The NTB Library

Who are we

The National Theatre Library is integrated in the Artistic Direction of the Theatre, together with the Artistic Department, the Drama and Literary Secretary Service, the Programming Service, the Museum and the Directing Service.

It has the status of a specialist library and has approximately 35,000 bibliographic units of both specialist and general interest.

The National Theatre Library has a valuable bibliophile collection in which we find significant plays in manuscript as well as translations of well-known authors of this kind of literature, etc. Also, this collection includes printed theatre books, whose antiquity leads us to the beginnings of Romanian and European theatre.

Those interested in exploring the world of written theatre are welcome in the spacious reading room located on the 6th floor. Nice surprises await for you here, so please come to discover them. We look forward to seeing you!


Robertina Stoica, library coordinator, documentary filmmaker, heritage book specialist

Alina Constantin, librarian

The name Nae Basarabeanu, or Nea Nae, as he used to be called, is linked directly to the establishment of the library of the National Theatre.

As a student of the conservatory, Nae Basarabeanu came from Craiova to the National Theatre and noticed that some of the texts used in the performances were being lost. Being also a copyist, he knew situations in which, if the play was to be staged again, the text had to be rewritten by hand. So, being practical and due to his love and respect for everything that was going on in the theatre, he collected each text and stored it in a cabinet bought with his own money.

This theatre lover collected the texts of the plays performed, collected the posters of these plays, made statistics, but also kept an inventory and records. He thus became the unofficial librarian of the National Theatre for at least 12 years, until 1927, when his days in the theatre and in life came to an end. His function would be made official in time, when, through what he achieved, arose the need to create a structured library.

Once established as a standalone entity within the National Theatre, the library evolves gradually, adding to the texts of the plays mainly books obtained through donations. Its headquarters are in the basement of the building, in a welcoming atmosphere with classic furniture.

Unfortunately, the flood of 2013 considerably destroyed the existing collection of books and documents.

In 2011-2015 the National Theatre was renovated and restructured. The theatre's library was also included in this project, having received a generous and modern space for the reading room, located on the top floor of the building, as well as the two repositories in the basement.

Since 2015, the Library of the National Theatre was subject to an extensive restructuring and reorganization process for three years.

As the collection was affected by mold, each bibliographic unit was decontaminated at the Institute of Atomic Physics in Măgurele.

The first step was to bring the two repositories up to book storage standards by purchasing a thermo-hydrometer for each repository.

After having the bibliographic document collection deactivated and decontaminated, each document was subject to being analyzed in terms of its nature.

Thus, in the two repositories the bibliographic units were structured into two main categories: fiction and drama.

The Literature repository contains all categories of documents: books, magazines, art albums, etc.

In the repository entitled Theatre there are printed theatre books as well as plays for internal use, set designs, costume designs, musical scores, cassettes, reviews, program booklets, etc.

Another category of reference documents: dictionaries, encyclopedias, specialist magazines, albums, etc.; these are kept in the reading room.

In each repository, format listing was used to organize the bibliographic units, and the reading room uses systematic alphabetical listing, according to Cutter's American model. For the reading room, therefore, the tables of authors adapted to the characteristics of the Romanian language by Getta Elena Rally were used.

In parallel, with the help of a team of computer scientists, a library database with an interface adapted to the specific needs of this type of collection was created. The database includes the cataloguing and indexing module, the search module, loans and returns, and the status module.

The cataloguing and indexing module has been structured into 4 submodules: General (includes all printed books), Theatre (specific works resulting from the production of the performance: text, translation, set sketches, costume sketches, program booklets, etc.), Serials (magazines, newspapers, etc.), Bibliophily (bibliophilic works).

In the Search module, the same sub-module with the corresponding sub-fields have been kept, in order to allow a faster and more detailed search for the reader. There is the possibility of searching by each category in the module but also the possibility of a general search of the whole database, depending on the user's preferences.

Since the categories of documents in a theatre institution have a specificity, link fields have been created between the various entries.  For example, if a user requests the adapted text of a play registered in the database, he/she has the possibility to see if there are also costume and set sketches, reviews, etc. for this play in the library. Of course, these can also be searched separately by calling the category sub-module.

The Lending module is a classic lending module for libraries and in the Status module various statistics can be performed, catalogues by various categories of documents, by author, by title etc. can be retrieved.

Currently, the whole library is computerized, and all categories of documents are indexed.

The library contains more than 35,000 titles for the benefit of readers who are interested in specialist literature and not only.

The entire collection of documents and books currently in the library's holdings can be seen in a comfortable reading room.

For the employees of the National Theatre, as well as for collaborators, the library offers a lending service.

We also offer documentation and research studies on various requested topics.

We pay special attention to the library's bibliophile collection. It contains about 733 works.

This fund includes printed plays with heritage value, adaptations and translations of internal plays in manuscript, posters and program booklets with heritage value, the first Romanian posters, written in Cyrillic characters, of the first performances on the stage of the National Theatre, set and costume sketches, musical scores, adaptations in manuscript, stage notes, etc.


The internal book and theatre bibliophile collection is also determined by the nature of the institution, its profile and the nature of the cultural and artistic activity it carries out. In addition to the imprint left by age, the importance of the author, the translator, the notes of a great actor or the directorial indications of a well-known director increase the value of the collection. Added to this is the value of the performance itself.

The written play with all that it entails and the performed show have a life together, they are a whole, and they are born and grow together. They enhance each other and define their value.

1. "Achilles at Scirio", written by Metastasio in 1797, is the first dramatic work published in our country, translated by Iordache Slătineanu.

This valuable book, the first dramatic work printed in our country, is written in Cyrillic characters, decorated with engraved frontispieces and vignettes.

2. "A Moldovan Rehearsal or Us and Us Again" is the first comedy written by Costachi Caragiali on March 17, 1844, the text of which has been preserved.

This play has an original and modern structure that will be found in other playwrights 100 years later.

3. "A Sun in the Slums or Mixture of Desires" (1845), a new comedy by Costache Caragiali whose handwritten text by a copyist is in the library's heritage collection.

The text, in beautiful calligraphy in black ink, is written on both pages in 19 leaves. At the beginning of the first act one can see the original signature of Constantin Nottara.

4. "The Old Hex", operetta-witchcraft, in two acts and three scenes, a dramatic work written by Matei Millo and published in Bucharest in 1851 in the printing house of C.A. Rosetti.

On December 26, 1848, the first Romanian operetta was premiered at the National Theatre in Iasi. It is about Baba Hârca (an Old Hex), in which its author, Matei Millo, is the interpreter of the main role, being also the first actor in the Romanian theatre who played the role in drag.


We briefly presented some works from the National Theatre's library, works that have their importance in the history of Romanian theatre.

The library holds, in manuscript, the translations of many personalities such as Alexandru Kirițescu, Haralamb Lecca, Sica Alexandrescu, Bengescu Dabija, Mihail Sadoveanu, Liviu Rebreanu, Aristizza Romanescu, St. O. Iosif etc. These works will be described above.

We also announce in the next period the presentation of some original manuscripts of I.L. Caragiale, manuscripts which can be found in the Library and Museum of the National Theatre.

Robertina Stoica, library coordinator


Phone: 021 / 313 91 71, -75 ext. 228

telefon 0727815937


Alina Constantin, librarian


Phone: 021 / 313 91 71, -75 ext. 228

Your browser is not up to date

Please upgrade to one of the following browsers in order to enter NTB website

Thank you for understanding! Google ChromeVersion 7+ FirefoxVersion 4+ Internet ExplorerVersion 8+ OperaVersion 4+ SafariVersion 5+
I agree

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to its use of cookies. Details

TNB I. L. Caragiale Logo