The Rudolf Bing collection consists of manuscripts, photographs, memorabilia, printed material, and correspondence.
Manuscripts in the collection consist of Bing's memoir 5,000 Nights at the Opera (Doubleday, 1972), present in typescript as well as galley proof and page proof form. The collection also contains the typed manuscript of Margaret Webster's profile of Bing, "Man in a Blue Suit," published in the Atlantic Monthly magazine (June 1953).
Photographs in the collection consist of formal and publicity photos, as well as informal snapshots. Many images include Mrs. Bing. Notable individuals pictured include Sarah Caldwell, Maria Callas, Marc Chagall, Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, Marie Jeritza, John F. Kennedy, Mayor John V. Lindsay, Leontyne Price, Nelson Rockefeller, Julius Rudel, Risë Stevens, and Huw Weldon. Also present are eleven color prints concerning Bing being made a Kinght of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1971.
Memorabilia in the collection consists of certificates and programs of events at which Rudolf Bing was honored, dating from 1957 to 1977. Notable items include the Grosse Verdienstkreuz, signed by West German President Theodor Heuss (1958); election to Fellowship in the Royal Society of Arts, London (1960); honorary Doctor of Letters from Temple University (1961); and a Metropolitan Opera Association program for state dinner in Bing's honor at the Lotos Club (1963).
Printed material includes various published writings by Bing, including letters to the editor and articles, dating from 1957 to 1972, published in The New York Times, McCalls, Variety, and other periodicals. Other printed items include articles about Bing written by others; numerous reviews, publicity items, and news clippings regarding 5,000 Nights at the Opera and the Metropolitan Opera; three annual reports for the Metropolitan Opera Association (covering 1968-1972); and a special issue of Opera News magazine devoted to Bing (1972).
Correspondence in the collection dates from 1951 to 1974, and includes many letters of congratulations on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth II making Bing a Commander of the British Empire in 1956, as well as documents of the 82nd U.S. Congress related to the immigration status of the Bings. Notable correspondents include John Banks, John Barbirolli, George Barnes, Gerald Barry, Eleanor Belmont, Isaiah Berlin, Emanuel Celler, John Christie, Thomas E. Dewey, Pierson Dixon, Anthony Eden, George Lascelles Harewood, Roy Henderson, Edward Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, Jacqueline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy, Princess Mary, John Maud, Robert Mayer, Pierre Monteux, Richard Nixon, Eugene Ormandy, Seymour Peck, Prince Rainier III of Monaco, Michael Redgrave, John D. Rockefeller, Adlai Stevenson, John Starrar, Eva Turner, Lowell Wadmond, Bruno Walter, and Margaret Webster.