Sibyl Ward Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of ephemera collected by Sibyl Ward relating to her career. This includes flyers, programmes and press reviews of her time as a student and in ‘Henry Baynton and His Company in Shakespearean Plays and Old English Comedies’. There are more reviews and programmes for Sibyl Ward’s later work in which she recited the plays of Shakespeare and other works, being reviewed as a ‘Protean Player of many Parts’ by The Curtain.

Correspondence is mostly compiled of letters received by Ward from Henry Knollys, relating to her performances and theatre in the UK and US. Other letters are received from various persons and institutions relating to both her acting and writing career, including applications for grants and publication. Other ephemera includes her graduation certificate, an honorary membership to the Eugene Field Society and a signed photograph of Henry Baynton.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sibyl Ward was a theatre actress whose career dated between 1917 and 1945. She graduated from Hasluck’s Academy in 1919 and went into the theatre company 'Henry Baynton and His Company in Shakespearean Plays and Old English Comedies'. She toured across the UK before then starting her own business providing talks, recitals and lectures to schools and universities. These performances led Ward to tour the UK and go on to tour Europe and the US. She became renowned for her recitals of Hamlet and Othello, including on stage costume changes.

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:

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:

Appraisal Information

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


No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also the core collections of the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance. Material relating to Sibyl Ward and productions she was involved in may be found in several collections, including the biographical, productions, company and photographs files.

Please ask for details.