Scrapbook relating to London theatre productions

Scope and Content

Collection of engravings and illustrations of actors and actresses and of theatres, newscuttings, theatrical playbills and programmes and other printed material and some manuscript items relating to the theatre. Compiled by Thomas Kemp, with additions made by Harry Tomkins.

Administrative / Biographical History

From internal evidence, Thomas Kemp lived at 3 Cartland Terrace, The Mall, Kensington and his date of death is given as 10 May 1860. Harry Tomkins was living at 2 Compton Road, Highbury in 1878.


This volume contains some playbills and programmes in addition to the engravings and other printed materials. The playbills and programmes were formerly numbered 6608-6627 and incorporated into a collection called the Theatre Collection, MS38. However, this volume has now been identified as an unconnected acquisition and its contents have been catalogued as a discrete collection.

Access Information

Open. Access to all registered researchers.

Acquisition Information

Source and date of acquisiton is unknown

Other Finding Aids

Please see full catalogue for more information.

Archivist's Note

Papers arranged and described by Beth Cutts, January 2017, in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; and in-house cataloguing guidelines.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Director of Special Collections (email: Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Special Collections will assist where possible with identifying copyright owners, but responsibility for ensuring copyright clearance rests with the user of the material.

Custodial History

This volume appears to have been compiled by Thomas Kemp as the first page of this volume bears his signature According to a pencil note, the volume subsequently became the property of Harry Tomkins, the note indicating that he received it as a legacy from his friend, Kemp. The subsequent custodial history of this volume is unknown.

Related Material

The Special Collections Department holds other personal and artificial collections of theatre playbills, programmes, newscuttings and associated materials. These smaller collections, which were formerly incorporated into the Theatre Collection, include the following:

Theatre Collection, MS38;
Heron-Allen album of playbills, MS107;
Colyer-Fergusson albums, MS108;
The Williams Theatre collection, MS109;
Volume of playbills, MS110;
Album of programmes, MS111;
Louis Cohen Collection, MS112;
The Kemp album, MS113;
Volume of Shakespearian souvenirs and programmes, MS114;
Album of presscuttings, photographs and theatre programmes, MS808;
Theatre programmes, MS897;
Birmingham Repertory Theatre programmes, MS934,
Theatre programmes collected by Andrew Leigh, MS937;
Collection of miscellaneous theatre programmes, playbills, and related items, MS939;
Regional theatre programmes: artificial collection, MS991;
Theatre programmes and ephemera, MS1016;
Theatre programmes, MS1035;
Scrapbook for the 1912 production of 'Twelfth Night', MS1058;
Ephemera relating to Victoria Wood, MS1061;
Theatre programme of 1912 production of 'Twelfth Night', MS1062.