Herbert Beerbohm Tree and Family Collection

Scope and Content

Correspondence written to and from Herbert, Maud and Viola Tree. The collection also includes poems, scripts, photographs and notes.

Administrative / Biographical History

Herbert Beerbohm Tree was a successful actor manager, renowned for his productions of Shakespeare, while also keeping an eye of innovations in the field. He made his amateur debut as an actor in 1876, and turned professional in 1878. As well as running several theatres, he undertook many foreign tours and made a name for himself in America as well as in Britain. He founded the Academy of Dramatic Art (later to become RADA) in 1904, and was knighted in 1909. In 1882 he married Helen Maud Holt, professionally known as Mrs Beerbohm Tree and later Lady Tree, an actress who frequently was to appear on stage with him. His daughter Viola was also an actress.

Access Information

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/archives/.

Appraisal Information

This collection was appraised in line with the collection management policy.

Custodial History

Purchased Christie's 16 April 1980 Lot 138.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. In general this includes the biographical, productions, company and photographs files. Books acquired with the collection can be found in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance Library Collections.

Please ask for details.