German theatre archive with a puppet collection. The Theatre Archive, University of Cologne, is an international documentation and research centre for the history of theatre and media culture. The collection was established in the 1920s by Carl Niessen (1890-1969) who was teaching at the university specializing in theatre. It brings together important scientific archives on the history of theatre. The Department of Puppet Theatre (Figurentheaterabteilung) houses the legacy of the collector Wilhelm Löwenhaupt (1872-1935). The collection of puppets from the early days of the Hänneschen-Theater (Little Hannes Theatre) in Cologne and the Javanese and Chinese shadow puppets are the highlights of the collection. The oldest objects of the collection are six Egyptian shadow puppets dating from the 14th century. Among the many archival pieces the manuscripts of plays are particularly interesting.

(See Germany.)


  • Buck, Elmar. Vision – Raum – Szene [Vision – Space – Scene]. Kassel: M. Faste, 2001.
  • Niessen, Carl. Kleine Schriften zur Theaterwissenschaft und Theatergeschichte [Small Writings/Contributions to the Study of Theatre and Theatre History]. Emsdetten, 1971.