The promptbooks collection of the Burcardo consists of about 1.900 items, of which more than a half are manuscripts. The catalogue can now be consulted online on the Library website.
Many are the XIXth century promptbooks, belonging to important companies of that age (Compagnia Reale Sarda, Compagnia Bellotti-Bon). Several of them have authorization stamps and censorship cuts of different ruling authorities, therefore they constitute interesting examples of the relation between theatre and political power in the Italian history of 1800. Large is also the number of Neapolitan promptbooks of late 1800 and first 1900, including works by Minchini, Scarpetta and others.
Among the autograph promptbooks are worthy to be cited the famous Pirandello's LiolÓ double version in Italian and Sicilian dialect, La nemica by Dario Niccodemi, Notte 'e neve by Roberto Bracco, Carne bianca by Luigi Chiarelli, Carlo Gozzi by Renato Simoni, Elektra by Hugo von Hofmannsthal in a French version for Eleonora Duse, Chill' Ŕ pazzo by Eduardo De Filippo.
The Burcardo houses also a noteworthy collection of film subjects and screenplays (of which L'illusione by Renato Simoni) and TV shows, as well as a small number of music scores, coming from different collections or passed on by SIAE Music Division.
In addition to the autograph documents, other important archives must be mentioned: engagement and theatre rent contracts, company reports and regulations, takings and book-keeping records, etc. In particular the papers referring to the Compagnia Reale Sarda and the many documents connected with the activity of the impresario Francesco Pasta (1839-1905) have a remarkable historical meaning.