The Cia Fornaroli Collection, a treasure of the Library's Jerome Robbins Dance Division, was assembled by Walter Toscanini, son of the famed Italian conductor, and his wife the La Scala ballerina Cia Fornaroli. The collection documents the full sweep of Italian dance history from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century.
The collection is large and multifaceted, with more than 3,300 rare books, and tens of thousands of libretti, scores, manuscripts, prints, photographs, clippings, and playbills. It encompasses some of the earliest writings on dance, including one of the very first Renaissance dance manuals, scores of books, letters, programs, and hundreds of designs, photographs, lithographs, and ephemera. It also includes Toscanini's personal research materials and manuscripts, as well as an important collection of memorabilia documenting the career of his ballerina-wife.
Exhibitions: "500 Years of Italian Dance: Treasures from the Cia Fornaroli Collection," curated by writer and Barnard College dance historian Lynn Garafola, with Italian dance scholar Patrizia Veroli, after a project conceived by Jose Sasportes and Patrizia Veroli. The exhibition was presented October 17, 2006 - January 20, 2007, in the Vincent Astor Gallery of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.