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ROH Collections

The archive of the Royal Opera House

Step into the past and discover more about the history of the Royal Opera House by delving into ROH Collections. This remarkable assortment of material documents the history of the three theatres that have stood on this site since 1732, as well as the world-class performances of opera and ballet that have taken place on our stage for centuries.

Please note

ROH Collections is planning a major project to review its collections and update its catalogues. The first phase of work will begin autumn 2017. ROH Collections will be closed from 1 September 2017, reopening on 5 March 2018. During this time we will be unable to accommodate researchers or answer enquiries. We apologize for any inconvenience this will cause and thank you for your patience. Please visit our website, where you may be able to find the information you need.

Find out more


Find out more about the Royal Opera House Collections department.


Explore our catalogue and performance database and view highlights from the collection.


ROH Collections is open to researchers. Find out more about making an enquiry or booking a research appointment.


Find out more about how to donate to ROH Collections.

News and features

  1. 20 March 2017

    Butterfly’s sanctuary: The long history of Madama Butterfly at the Royal Opera House

    From the opera’s UK premiere in 1905 through to the present day, Puccini’s much-loved opera has a long and close relationship with Covent Garden.

  2. 20 January 2017

    How the design of Royal Opera House red programmes has evolved through the ages

    Tastes change, as a fascinating trip through more than 250 years of historical souvenirs shows.

  3. 28 December 2016

    Awakening The Sleeping Beauty: Re-opening the Royal Opera House after World War II

    This wonderful classical ballet has a special place in The Royal Ballet’s history, marking a new beginning for the Company in more ways than one.