The Theatre Archive Project

Scope and Content

The archive is comprised of 6 boxes and 1 volume of 'The Stage' (1971). 3 of the boxes contain CD-ROMS of audio interviews with theatre professionals including actors, directors, writers, and producers etc., such as Laurence Olivier (1983), Peter Green (2005), Ian Mcdiarmid (2005), and Glenda Jackson (2007). The other 3 boxes contains theatre ephemera, predominantly programmes, playbills and brochures; these include numerous programmes relating to Royal Shakespeare Company productions, such as the 1958 performance of Hamlet at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, starring Michael Redgrave. Material relating to other productions includes a programme of Tim Rice’s and Andrew Lloyd Webbers’ musical Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat performed at the Albery Theatre in London in 1973, as well as various programmes from a range of theatres across the UK, such as The Belgrade, The Globe, The Orbit, and the The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. The archive also includes correspondence and photographs relating to the English actress Dame Irene Vanbrugh, and Robert and Hilda Taylor who performed shows for troops when stationed abroad during WWII.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Theatre Archive Project was initiated in 2003 by Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University. It is a long-term collaborative project between De Montfort University and the British Library. The central aim of the project is to 're-investigate British Theatre History 1945-1968, from the perspective of both the theatre goer and the practitioner.' While the majority of the archive material covers the period 1945-1968 there are some programmes, photographs and correspondences produced outside of these dates.

Access Information

Open for general access. External researchers are advised to make an appointment with the Archivist.

Other Finding Aids

A basic list is available from the Archivist on request.

Archivist's Note

Listed by Frances Lund, Assistant Archivist, February-April 2014. Updated by Natalie Hayton May 2016.

Separated Material

Part of this collection is in the archival custody of the University of Sheffield.

A description of this material can be found at:

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be taken for private research purposes only. Programmes, playbills and brochures will be subject to third party copyright.

Custodial History

This collection was previously held in full at the University of Sheffield Special Collections. Part of the collection was transferred to DMU Archives and Special Collections in 2012.

Related Material

Further material in conjunction with the Theatre Archive Project can be found at the British Library: