Theatre Research Page
Theatre Research Page
A Record of Dramatic Performances at a Leading Victorian Theatre

Formerly the Sans Pareil (1806-1819), later the Adelphi (1819-1900)
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Theatre Research Page

Warning.  Webpages in this section are liable to change.  These links were operational in May 2013.

Actors and Actresses:

Boucicault, Dion (Dion Boucicault Theatre Collection at the University of South Florida)

    One of the largest public collections of Boucicault materials, purchased from his widow, Josephine Cheney Boucicault.  The collection consists of approximately 781 items, including printed and manuscript play scripts, stage directions, letters, and musical scores.  The collection also includes set design sketches, prompt books, photographs and select musical segments.  Most of USF's materials related to Boucicault's The Shaughraun have been digitized and are available online.

Boucicault, Dion (University of Kent, England, Special Collections)

    The University of Kent Special Collections holds two significant collections of material about the playwright and actor Dionysius Lardner Boucicault (1820-1890), better known as Dion Boucicault. Items include programmes, playbills, letters and illustrations.  These collections focus on Boucicault's life and his work.  The Fawkes Boucicault Collection contains material gathered by Richard Fawkes for his book Dion Boucicault: a Biography (1979), while the Calthrop Boucicault Collection, collected by Boucicault's great-grandson, contains biographical material and items relating to Dion Boucicault's plays.

Macready, William Charles (Princeton University Collections)

    Consists of selected correspondence, letters written by members of his family, and some letters, articles, and miscellaneous documents about him. A significant number of letters (45) are from Macready's friend, William Frederick Pollock.

Collections (Theatre):

British Library

Chicago Theater Collection  (Harold Washington Library Center)

Harvard Theatre Collection (Houghton Library)

    Harvard Theatre Collection includes documentary material pertaining to the history of the performing arts, including the fields of theater, dance and ballet, and opera and musical theater, as well as many forms of popular entertainment, such as magic and conjuring, music hall and variety, pantomime and extravaganza, puppetry, toy theater, circuses and menageries, fairgrounds, pageants and outdoor drama, festivals and spectacles, film, and minstrelsy. It contains vast collections of programs and playbills, posters, play texts and libretti.

Kent University (Templeman Library's theatre collection)

Ohio State University (Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute)

    The Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee Theatre Research Institute serves as an archive for performers, playwrights, choreographers, designers, producing organizations, and theatre and dance companies, among others, and advances the study and inspiration of the performing arts.  The collections include personal papers; organizational archives; costume, scene, lighting designs, and technical theatre documentation; costumes; models of stage sets and theatres; photographs; posters; artwork; film, videotape and sound recordings.

The Theatre and Performance collection (Gabrielle Enthoven Collection)

    The Theatre and Performance collection was founded in the 1920s when a private collector, Gabrielle Enthoven, donated her extensive collection of theatrical designs, memorabilia, books and photographs to the Museum.  Since then the collection has continued to grow and has provided a home for many other significant objects and archives.  All areas of the live performing arts are represented in the collections, documenting both current practice and the history of the performing arts in the UK.

Theatre Voice

    Theatre VOICE is the leading site for audio content about British theatre.  It was set up in 2003, allowing critics to be more expansive than the usual space constraints of the print media allowed; to enable actors, writers, directors and designers to be heard talking in detail and at length about their work; and to help members of the public interact more directly with theatre-makers and commentators. In April 2008, the Department of Theatre & Performance at the V&A and Rose Bruford College agreed to support the site in partnership.

Victoria and Albert Museum

    The V&A holds many special collections and archives of theatre and the performing arts, from individual performers and collectors, theatres, theatre companies and other organisations.  They contain diaries, letters, manuscripts, photographs, ephemera, business papers, newspaper cuttings, designs and sketches.

Ephemera Collections:

Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera)

    The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera offers a fresh view of British history through primary, uninterpreted printed documents which, produced for short-term use, have survived by chance.

Carthalia (Theatres on Postcards)

    Andreas Praefcke's postcard collection of theatres and concert halls worldwide.  The web site does not yet feature the entire collection, but there are 4300 images of over 1900 buildings in 100 countries.

Evanion Collection of Ephemera

Florida, University of (Belknap Collection for the Performing Arts)

    The Belknap Collection is an eclectic mixture of mainly non-book, primary research materials.  Nearly 85% of the collection is ephemera from 19th and 20th Century Europe and America.  The archive includes more than 60,000 playbills, programs, costume and stage designs, sheet music, theatrical scrapbooks, prints, etchings, drawings, photographs, posters, and scripts spanning all of the performing arts.  The Belknap Collection also includes essential reference books, rare and large pictorial books, and relevant performing arts periodicals.  The Ringling Theatre Collection is included.  It traces the history of stagecraft through Shakespearean prints, 18th, 19th and 20th century European and American handbills, posters and heralds, souvenir photographs and prints of the legendary performers of the past three centuries.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts (Billy Rose Theatre Collection)

    The Billy Rose Theatre Collection of The New York Public Library is one of the largest and most comprehensive archives devoted to the theatrical arts.  Encompassing dramatic performance in all its diversity, the Collection is an indispensable resource for artists, writers, researchers, scholars, students, and the general public.

H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana (Brown University)

    The H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana, long considered one of the finest private libraries on conjuring and magic.  The Collection is the gift and bequest of the collector, class of 1930, who as an undergraduate put himself through Brown by giving magic performances.  The print materials are fully cataloged, and records for media are available in the Library's online catalog.

Theatre Ephemera (Northeastern Illinois University)

    Site focuses on American theatre before 1900.  Scholars are invited to use the site.  The owner has not knowingly displayed copyrighted images.  Email questions or comments to: Rodney Higginbotham [].  Ephemera consist of post, cabinet and tobacco cards, and cartes de visite.  There are links to other sites with theatre images.

Journals Devoted to Theatre Scholarship (a Selection):

American Theatre

    A monthly magazine published by the Theatre Communications Group, American Theatre covers trends and events in all types of theatre, but the main focus is on professional, not-for-profit theatre.  The journal rarely publishes articles about commercial, amateur, or university theatre, dance, or opera.

Comparative Drama

Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism

    Founded in 1986 at the University of Kansas.  Publishes full-length articles contributing to the varied conversations in dramatic theory and criticism, and explores the relationship between theory and theatre practice.  Published semi-annually.

Modern Drama

    Founded in 1958, it focusses on dramatic literature.  The journal emphasizes close readings of both canonical and lesser-known dramatic texts from a range of methodological perspectives.  The journal features articles written from a variety of geo-political points of view, which enhance our understanding of the dramatic literature of the past two centuries.  Published quarterly.

Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film

Performance Research

    Since 1996 Performance Research has set a precedent that has become standard for thematic and cross-disciplinary ways of bringing together the varied materials of artistic and theoretical research in performance.  The journal is designed as a dynamic space of performance to produce inspiring conversations, unlikely connections, and curious confluences.  The emphasis is on contemporary performance.


    A journal of performance studies and a forum for radical performance and theoretical intervention.  The Dramatic Review engages performance in its aesthetic, historical, social, economic, political, and theoretical contexts.  The disciplinary zone of performance is conceived broadly and emphasizes the experimental, the critical, and the provocative.

Teaching Theatre

    A quarterly journal published by The Educational Theatre Association intended for professional theatre educators.  A typical issue includes an article on acting, directing, playwriting, or technical theatre; a profile of an outstanding educational theatre program; a piece on curriculum design, assessment, or teaching methodology; and reports on current trends or issues in the field, such as funding, standards, or certification.


    Originally titled Yale/Theater, the journal was founded in 1968 as "a gathering of responses to real events" in that tumultuous year.  In the magazine’s first issue, Ren Frutkin declared it would consist of "theatre, thought, discussion, dream, art, people." Theater has introduced countless important international dramatists to readers and theaters and has published some of America’s most innovative playwrights.  Many distinguished critics have contributed groundbreaking essays, commentary, and reviews.

Theatre Annual

    Publishes articles on the history and ethnography of performance, drawing from such areas as theatre studies, popular culture, music, anthropology communication, dance, philosophy, folklore, history, and performance studies across disciplinary lines.

Theatre Notebook

    A journal of the history of British theatre published by the Society for Theatre Research, London.  TN covers theatrical activities of all kinds both before and behind the curtain--acting, directing, managing professional and amateur theatre, the business of theatre, stage design, the history of theatre buildings, acting technique, and theatre outside the British Isles.

Theatre Journal

    Drawing contributions from noted practitioners and scholars, Theatre Journal features social and historical studies, production reviews, and theoretical inquiries analyzing dramatic texts and production.  It is an official publication of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE).

Theatre History Studies

    The official journal of the Mid-American Theatre Conference.  It is devoted to research and excellence in all areas of theatre history.  Since 1981, Theatre History Studies has provided critical, analytical, and descriptive articles on all aspects of theatre history.

Theatre Research International

    The journal publishes articles on theatre practices in their social, cultural, and historical contexts, their relationship to other media of representation, and to other fields of inquiry.  Theatre Research International seeks to reflect the evolving diversity of critical idioms prevalent in the scholarship of differing world contexts.

Theatre Survey

    Published three times a year by the American Society for Theatre Research as a theatre history journal, Theatre Survey provides rigorous historical and theoretical studies of performance across all periods, cultures, and methodologies.

Plays and Playwrights:

Pinero, Arthur Wing (University of Rochester, New York, River Campus Libraries)

    The two box collection consists mainly of correspondence between Sir Arthur Wing Pinero and his wife with members of English and American theatres.  Of special interest is a group of letters written in 1875 by Pinero and his friend Tom Tomlin when the former was a young actor in Liverpool and other provincial theatres.

Professional Organizations:

American Society for Theatre Research

    The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) is a U.S.-based professional organization that fosters scholarship on worldwide theatre and performance, both historical and contemporary.

Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

    The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) is a comprehensive non-profit professional membership organization.  Founded in 1986, ATHE serves the interests of its diverse individual and organizational members, including college and university theatre departments and administrators, educators, graduate students, and theatre practitioners.

Educational Theatre Association

    A professional organization for theatre educators providing professional development, advocacy, and networking support to its members.  EdTA operates the International Thespian Society, an honorary organization for high school and middle school theatre students.  It publishes Dramatics, a monthly magazine for students and teachers, and Teaching Theatre, a quarterly journal for theatre education professionals.  EdTA's annual Thespian Festival is the premiere showcase for high school theatre, drawing students and teachers from throughout the United States and abroad.


British Library (Literary and Theatrical collections)

    The theatre collections include plays submitted to the Lord Chamberlain's Office for examination and licensing between 1824 and 1968.  Plays submitted since 1968 under the terms of the Theatres Act of that year continue the collection up to the present day.  The Lord Chamberlain's Plays Project seeks to provide wider and more comprehensive access to a major collection of 19th-century drama.  The Lord Chamberlain's Plays licensed from 1852 to 1863 will now be searchable via the British Library's manuscript catalogue.  The catalogue descriptions will offer readers as much information as possible, including first performance dates, names of theatres and alternative published editions.

British Theatre Guide (Lord Chamberlain's Page)

    Between 1737 and 1968, the Lord Chamberlain's office licensed and retained a copy of every play newly performed in London and later throughout the provinces as well.  There are 2,500 new electronic catalogue entries for manuscripts of the Lord Chamberlain's Plays collection covering the decade from 1852 to 1863.  The entries are unique in the British Library's catalogues as they include keywords, in addition to the standard information about titles, authors, where the play was performed and whether it was printed.  There are many links, most of them to contemporary web sites.

Iconography – Golden Age of Theatre History (1880-1920)

Music Hall and Theatre History Site

    Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd (1839-1904).  This website began life back in 2001 when Matthew Lloyd decided that his great grandfather, a popular music hall performer, should have a presence on the Internet.  Consists of press cuttings, programs, posters, books, magazines, postcards, and original song sheets.  It has extensive iconography and history of music halls.

New York University -- 19th Century Theatre History Research Guide

SIBMAS - International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts

    The SIBMAS International Directory of Performing Arts Collections and Institutions lists over 7000 international institutions with material relating to the performing arts.

Stetson University, Florida

    Designed to help the user find theatre information on the Internet.  It is designed to be a guide rather than a listing of resources and is performance oriented.  Main sections online indexes and databases, actors and acting, plays and playwrights, electronic texts, journals and images.  Does not include commercial sites.  This page is maintained by Ken McCoy.

Theatre Database (19th Century)

Theatre History on the Web

    A comprehensive collection of links to theatre resources from the beginning of drama to the contemporary period.  Maintained by Jack Walcott (retired), School of Drama, University of Washington.

UK Web Archives (Arts and Humanities) Theatre

    The UK Web Archive contains UK websites that publish research, that reflect the diversity of lives, interests and activities throughout the UK, and demonstrate web innovation.  This includes "grey literature" sites those that carry briefings, reports, policy statements, and other ephemeral but significant forms of information.

    The archive is free to view, accessed directly from the Web itself and, since archiving began in 2004, has collected thousands of websites.  The theatre section has sixty-five sites on all facets of the theatre.

Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Victorian Web (Literature, History and Culture in the Age of Victoria)

    Links to many articles written about music, theatre and popular entertainment.  Main sections include: composers, drama and dramatists, genre, themes, popular entertainment and a bibliography.

Scholarships in Theatre Studies:

Scholarship Hunter

Michigan, University of

Michigan State University

Northern Arizona University

Texas Christian University

Tyler Junior College

Western Michigan University

Stagecraft and Technical Theatre: (Glossary of Technical Theatre Terms) has been online since 1997 and is a developing resource for theatre technicians.  It claims to be the biggest technical theatre glossary on the Web with over 1630 terms listed.  Terms can be traced by word search, browsing by letter, random word finder or category search.  The glossary is edited by Jon Primrose, Technical Manager at the University of Exeter Drama Department in the UK.  (It is not connected to Theatre Crafts, which has been superseded by Live Design magazine.)

Theatre History (General):

Theatres Victorian London

History London Theatres

Theatre History (Patent Houses):

Covent Garden

Drury Lane

Theatre Royal Haymarket

Theatre History (Sans Pareil/Adelphi):

Adelphi Theatre - Theatre history

Adelphi Theatre

Adelphi Theatre - Theatre history

Adelphi Theatre - The Victorian Web

Adelphi Theatre Early History

Adelphi Theatre History

British History Online

Theatre Societies:

American Society for Theatre Research

    The American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) is a U.S.-based professional organization that fosters scholarship on worldwide theatre and performance, both historical and contemporary.

Canadian Association for Theatre Research

Indian Society For Theatre Research (ISTR)

Irish Society for theatre research

Society for Theatre Research (London)

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Thank you for visiting this site.
Copyright © 1988, 1992, 2013 by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.
Originally published by Greenwood Press as The Sans Pareil Theatre 1806-1819, Adelphi Theatre 1819-1850: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers, 1988, and The Adelphi Theatre 1850-1900: An Index to Authors, Titles, Performers and Management, 1992.
Creative Commons License
The Adelphi Theatre Calendar revised, reconstructed and amplified.  Copyright © 2013, by Alfred L. Nelson, Gilbert B. Cross, Joseph Donohue.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License, with the exception of graphics from The Clip Art Book, edited by Gerard Quinn and published by Crescent in 1990.  These images are reproduced in accord with the publisher’s note, which states "The Clip Art Book is a new compilation of illustrations that are in the public domain.  The individual illustrations are copyright free and may be reproduced without permission or payment.  However, the selection of illustrations and their layout is the copyright of the publisher, so that one page or more may not be photocopied or reproduced without first contacting the publishers."