Manuscript material within the Cambridge Drama Collection, late 19th century

Scope and Content

The volume of cuttings made by Hall, and annotated by him, contains nineteen prints and is entitled: 'Illustrations by Rowlandson and others to the works of Henry Fielding'. The volume is undated but it was probably compiled in the mid-19th century. The British artist Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) illustrated several works by the novelist Henry Fielding (1707-1754). Other artists in the collection have not been identified. (Reference: TCD 1)

Administrative / Biographical History

The University library's Cambridge Drama Collection is primarily a library of printed works, containing about 1700 items published between 1750 and 1850. It was built up in Cambridge by Henry Hall (1823-1894), who presented it in 1882 to Cambridge Free Library. The Collection concentrates on drama texts, but also covers the history of British theatre, with works about individual theatres in London and the provinces, particular productions, biography of performers and producers, social comment about the stage and associated critical literature.

Ephemeral items or collected illustrations found among the library books have been separated from the published works and identified as a private manuscript group within the Cambridge Drama Collection. At present this group consists of a collection of cuttings made by Hall, and apparently extracted from printed volumes and scrapbooks. The cuttings have been brought together by Hall in a volume. It is anticipated that further items may be added to this group as they are identified.

Hall also assembled a collection of published works focused more specifically on William Shakespeare, including editions and works concerning Shakespeare's production and reception. This library, known as the Cambridge Shakespeare Collection, was also transferred to the Cambridge Free Library.

Henry Thomas Hall (1823-1894), a resident of Cambridge, was an active member of the Cambridge Garrick Club with a passion for the theatre in general and the work of Shakespeare in particular. His occasional publications on these interests include the titles: 'Cambridge Dramatic Album' (Cambridge, 1868); 'Shakspere's Plays' (Cambridge, 1880); 'Shaksperean Fly-Leaves etc.' (Cambridge, 1864); 'Shaksperean Statistics' (Cambridge, 1865). A one-act play in verse appeared under the title 'Ye latest edition of ye Rye House Plot, or ye maid, ye Monarch, and ye man' (Cambridge 1868).


No archival arrangement has been necessary.

Access Information

Accessible to all registered readers.

Other Finding Aids

This description is the only finding aid available for the collection. Copyright on the description belongs to The University of Nottingham.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Conditions Governing Use

Reprographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on access status and the condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email

Custodial History

The Cambridge Drama Collection was presented by Cambridge City Libraries to the University of Nottingham in 1960, at the same time as the Cambridge Shakespeare Collection.

Related Material

The University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections: Cambridge Drama Collection of printed books and periodicals.

The University of Nottingham, Manuscripts and Special Collections: Cambridge Shakespeare Collection of printed books and periodicals.