Monica Collingwood (Surrey, ballet devotee) Collection

Scope and Content

The collection's content predominately dates from 1930s - 1960s. It comprises of ballet scrapbooks (1930s - c. 1956), concentrating on the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company (1935 - c. 1954) and within especially ballet dancer Margot Fonteyn (c. 1949 - c. 1956). It includes material related to The Red Shoes film production (1948) and photograph albums and prints of ballet performances and dancers (1930s - 1960s). Further the collection consist of numerous performance programmes (1929 - 1991), predominantly ballet and within especially of the Sadler's Wells Ballet Company. The programmes also cover opera, music and theatre, including musicals.

Administrative / Biographical History

(Kathleen) Monica Collingwood (1913 - 2003) was born in Burma, the eldest of the four children of Stanley Collingwood, a sales representative for Nestland then Pascall's, and his wife, Muriel, ne Smalley. By 1916 the family had returned to England and settled in Upper Norwood, South London; in 1933 they moved to Coulsdon, Surrey where Monica continued to live in the same family house in Coulsdon until her death in 2002.

During the Second World War, she worked as a driver for the Ministry of Defence. Thereafter she became a carer for various members of her family, including, latterly, her parents.

Monica was an avid ballet lover from the age of 7 and frequently attended performances until the late 1970s. She was a keen follower of the lives of many ballet dancers, especially those of the Sadler's Wells Company and Margot Fonteyn in particular. Over the years Monica Collingwood collected many press cuttings and photographs which she compiled in scrapbooks and album, some of which she gave away to members of the wider family. In addition, from approximately the 1950s onwards she built up her own considerable ballet library consisting of books and journals predominantly.


The material has been arranged thematically into three series: Scrapbooks; Photograph albums and prints; Programmes and playbills. There was no apparent original, nor any other logical arrangement on arrival.

Access Information

This collection is open for access.

It is available for consultation by appointment only; we require a 24 hour notice. (Please note that you need to contact us by Thursday afternoon if you wish to visit us on the following Tuesday.)

Appointments can be made by contacting the archivist using any of the methods below:


Telephone: 020 8392 3323

Postal address: Archives and Special Collections, Library and Learning Services, University of Roehampton, Roehampton Lane, London, SW15 5SZ.

Acquisition Information

Transferred by the Roehampton University Dance Department (via Larraine Nichols, Senior Lecturer on 16 November 2009).

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the majority of the collection can be obtained by contacting the archivist (

Archivist's Note

Description created in January 2013.

Conditions Governing Use

Standard copyright regulations apply to the programmes and photographs as well as to the intellectual content of the scrapbooks. For photocopying or reproducing material, please consult archive staff.

Appraisal Information

The collection originally additionally consisted of books and journals which were considered to replicate the holdings of the Dance Department and the University Library and were therefore not accepted. All other records have been retained since the acceptance of donation in 2003.

Custodial History

The collection was transferred to the Archives & Special Collections from the Roehampton University Dance Department in November 2009. In 2003 the Dance Department was contacted by the donor’s nephew about the collection of a lifetime of theatre attendance of his recently deceased aunt where it was donated to shortly after.

In September 2008 Larraine Nicholas, a Senior Lecturer of the Dance Department contacted the Archives & Special Collections about a transfer of the collection from the Dance Department to the Archives and Special Collections. The records were moved on 16 November 2009.


Further accruals may be donated from other members of Monica Collingwood's family in future.

Related Material

Further collections relating to dance that are held by Archives and Special Collections at the University of Roehampton include:

  • The Naseem Khan Collection, containing published books relating to South Asian classical dance that had been collected by Naseem Khan, a writer and former dance critic. See reference code: NK
  • The Ann Hutchinson Guest Collection, containing records relating to the Language of Dance Centre, London (founded by Ann Hutchinson Guest) and dance notation. See reference code: AHG