Skip to main content

Kupferberg Center and Performing Arts Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SCA-0009

Scope and Contents

This collection documents performing arts related events and programs associated with Queens College from 1938 to 2004. This includes activities from the early days of the college, such as the Orchestral Society and Choral Society; the Colden Center (founded in 1960); and today's the Kupferberg Center for the Arts. The collection contains photographs, invitations, memos, brochures, programs, and other printed ephemera.


  • 1938 - 2023


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please e-mail for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions may be provided to users to support research and scholarship. However, collection use is subject to all copyright laws. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Historical Note

The performing arts has been central to Queens College since its earliest days. The Department of Music was founded in 1938 and grew into the prestigious Aaron Copland School of Music. The Queens College Choral Society and Orchestral Society date to the 1940s.

Today, the college’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts (KCA) is a state-of-the-art performing arts complex. The complex was formerly named Charles S. Colden Center, in dedication to the founder of Queens College. KCA now consists of the Colden Auditorium, Goldstein Theatre, and LeFrak Center Hall.

Constructed in 1960, Colden Auditorium and Goldstein Theatre both serve as venues for popular music, theater, and lecture presentations. Colden Auditorium, the largest venue space in Queens, and LeFrak Center Hall are both available for public rental, and are frequently used by community organizations and local schools for events such as theater performances and graduations.

In 2006, Queens College received a generous donation of $10 million from alumnus Max Kupferberg to expand and renovate the center. Phase I of the project was completed in 2010 and Phase II was completed in 2012, just in time for the college’s celebration of its 75th anniversary. It was later named Kupferberg Center for the Arts in honor of Max Kupferberg.

KCA’s mission is “to provide high quality, accessible and affordable cultural attractions to the Queens College community and the borough’s 2.3 million residents.” It also welcomes emerging artists and international attractions to reflect the borough’s multicultural community. Over the decades, KCA has been the performance site of local, regional, and world-renowned artists. Past performers include Jerry Seinfeld, David Bowie, The Byrds, Patti LaBelle, Natalie Cole, Chuck Berry, and Johnny Mathis.


“Events in the Media.” FYI: Queens College Faculty/Staff News, Sep. 2012,

“Kupferberg Center Performances,” NYC-ARTS: The Complete Guide,

Tsang, Holly. “Kupferberg Center Ready for Act Two.” Forest Hills Times, 02 Nov. 2010,


2.75 Linear Feet (One records carton; one 8x10 flat box; three 5x7 flat boxes; and one 15x12 flat box. )


This collection is arranged in two series: Programming, 1938-2011 and Photographs, 1983-2004.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection combines performing arts-related materials collected years ago (date unknown) with materials transferred to the archives by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts during the summer of 2019.

Related Materials

Some photographs in the Queens College Photographs collection relate to this collection. They may be found in the subseries entitled Music & Performances and the file entitled Colden Center.


Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jeanie Pai, Archives Processing Fellow, thanks to a generous grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Queens College Special Collections and Archives chose to combine materials from several sources into a single performing arts collection for ease of use. These materials included two boxes of materials documenting the Charles Colden Center, stacks of unhoused items documenting other performing arts-related activities dating to the 1940s, and materials transferred to the archives by the Kupferberg Center for the Arts in 2019.

Kupferberg Center and Performing Arts Records
Jeanie Pai
November 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us