Founded in 1917 by the Drama League, the Drama Book Shop became an independent store in 1923. It moved several times, and since 2001 it was located in a 5,000-square-foot space on West 40th Street in Manhattan with a staff of about 20, many of whom were actors or had theater-related interests. The staff assisted the thousands of students, theater professionals, and award-winning artists who passed through the shop's doors. In 2011 the Drama Book Shop received a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. Given since 1990, these awards are bestowed on individuals, organizations, and institutions that have demonstrated profound achievement in theater but are ineligible in any of the established Tony categories.
Secure in its reputation as the country's best source for theatrical works — it keeps 8,000 plays in stock in it's well equipped warehouse.
In 2018, DBS made the decision to move from its traditional brick and mortar building to a new and improved digital platform, allowing more patrons from all over the world the opportunity to utilize its vast inventory and knowledge base. By making this move, DBS lowered its overall expenses and then concentrated on a new pricing structure so that more titles became available at more affordable prices.
The second century of Drama Book Shop lives on as Drama Book Shop Online.