Loose photographs

Scope and Content

This extensive sub-class consists of loose photographs in a variety of formats, most of which had been bundled into envelopes and labelled by RD himself or more frequently by the family after his death. The prints include family snapshots, studio portrait photographs, publicity shots, and stage and film stills, spanning virtually the whole of RD's life and career. Most of the plays and films in which RD appeared are represented, from his early repertory work to his last film. Particularly well-represented in terms of quantity are The Count of Monte Cristo, The Young Mr Pitt, and RD's own film The Cure for Love. Many of the film stills also retain their original publicity captions, describing the action and individuals depicted.


The original bundles in which the photographs were kept presumably reflect the way they were acquired or kept by RD and subsequently his family; these have largely been retained except where there were obvious disparities between the label on the envelope and some of the contents. In some cases a number of related bundles have been brought together, but their original order is always preserved. Most of the original envelopes (apart from those bearing original address labels or the printed logo of RD's production company) have been discarded, and any notes or titles (which were largely posthumous) transcribed in the catalogue descriptions below. Some of the photographs may have been acquired by John Donat after his father's death, but these were stored among RD's own photographs and no attempt has been made to remove any prints to the posthumous papers. The photographs are arranged in a very broad chronological order as far as it is possible to ascertain dates, although many of the bundles consist of very disparate and largely undated prints. The former references supplied for each item refer to the numbers allocated to the photographs in the Library's preliminary listing of the archive; these numbers have been included in this class as a reference aid due to the quantity of material involved and the rearrangement which has taken place since the preliminary listing was made.