Skip to main content

Lillian Schneider Bartell Playbill Collection

Identifier: ufbartell

Scope and Content

The collection is arranged in chronological order with "Play Title" followed by "Cast".


  • Creation: 1939 - 1974



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

(The following was written, in June of 2003, by Joel Gardner, an oral historian and nephew of Lillian Schneider Bartell. The Bartell Playbill Collection was donated to the Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts by Mr. Gardner.)

Lillian Schneider Bartell was born September 25, 1911, in New York City, to Samuel and Rose Apter Schneider. They were immigrants from Dvinsk, in Latvia, who met at a "landsmannschaft" in New York and married there. Lillian married Jack Gottlieb, owner of a shirt-manufacturing business, in 1938, and gave birth to Rosalind Sue Gottlieb on February 1, 1940. They lived first in Inwood, in upper Manhattan, then moved to East 190th Street in the Fordham section of the Bronx. Their art deco apartment and building were in a neighborhood that was home to many middle and upper-middle class Jews at the time and has been memorialized in the works of writers such as Richard Price and Jerome Charyn. Alexander's Department Store, at the corner of Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse, anchored a thriving community of restaurants and shops, as well as the Paradise Theatre, a local wonder.

Jack Gottlieb retired briefly to Miami Beach with his family following the war, but he returned to New York and to his business. Rosalind attended the Bronx High School of Science and Cornell University, where she majored in biology and, following graduation, worked with Prof. Thomas Eisner, with whom she co-wrote several publications in scholarly journals. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1971 and, after years of debilitating illness, died in 1997.

Lillian married Sam Bartell in 1965, and they retired, in 1973, to Deerfield Beach, where they cared for Rosalind. Sam suffered from emphysema and died in 1982. Lillian died of a heart attack in October 1983, shortly after her 72nd birthday.

As her collection of playbills demonstrates, Lillian Bartell took advantage of New York's cultural life throughout her two marriages. The collection begins in 1939, shortly after her marriage to Jack Gottlieb, and continues through 1974, even after she moved to Florida. the range is remarkable, but probably typical of her background and interests: despite having only a high school education, she was a voracious and literate reader, and she was clearly as interested in serious drama as comedy and musical comedy. All are represented here: Shakespeare and Shaw, Odets and Simon, Rodgers with both Hart and Hammerstein.

In addition to the Broadway productions (and a few off-Broadway), the collection includes several special Actors Equity programs and programs from the Metropolitan Opera. One item, the program for the opening of Lincoln Center, deserves special note. It was designed by Irving Spellins, a well-known graphic artist and designer, who was Lillian's (and my mother's ) maternal first cousin.

I hope that this collection provides fodder for scholars beyond the theatre arts, but the fact that it will be whole and discrete is important to me. in a way, it is an important part of a woman's intellectual history, and what could be more enlightening than that?


1 Linear Feet (1 Box)

Language of Materials



Theatre playbills, primarily for Broadway productions but also for productions off-Broadway and in Florida.


University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Collected by Lillian Schneider Bartell and donated by her nephew Joel R. Gardener.

A Guide to the Lillian Schneider Bartell Playbill Collection
Finding aid created by Jim Liversidge
September 2003 (Updated May 2019)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America