The collection comprises papers relating to the life and work of of theatre, opera and television director Basil Coleman, 1916-2013, including;
Scores with Coleman's production notes for Britten operas, as well as non-Britten operas.
Play scripts with Colman's production notes.
Programmes and press reviews.
Articles, and papers concerning various projects, study days and courses.
Cast lists and audience research reports.
Books, periodicals, brochures and pamphlets.
Correspondence including from Cecil Winterbottom during WW2, Brian Way in Oxford Prison 1943, family, Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, David Attenborough, BBC, Joan Cross, Eric Crozier, Nancy Evans, EM Forster, John Gielgud, Colin Graham, Cedric Messina, Myfanwy Piper, William Plomer, Janet Stone and Theodor Uppman.
Photographs of Coleman, family and friends and production photographs of his theatre, opera and television work.
Oral history interviews of Coleman.
Items concerning family members, including Gwen Coleman.
The papers cover many aspects of Coleman's career from his acting and directing work in the Old Vic and other theatres from the late 1930s, to his BBC drama productions of the 1970s, and his master classes at the Britten-Pears School.