We have extensive collections of plays from many parts of the world. We should receive one copy of every book and periodical published in the United Kingdom and, via different legislation, one copy of every book published in the Republic of Ireland. In addition, the deposit of the plays and correspondence of the one-time national censor, The Lord Chamberlain, and the successor collection, make the Manuscripts Collections of particular interest.
These published and manuscript plays, with a selection of theatre programmes, playwrights' correspondence and sound recordings mean that the Library's British drama collections are perhaps the greatest of their kind. The literary criticism that supports the interpretation of drama is also well represented in the Library.
The Library's published plays and supporting materials can be located on the Library's catalogues, listed below, and consulted in the Library's Reading Rooms. Please note that some theatre programmes are held in British Library Newspapers, others at the British Library at St Pancras.
|Published plays, literary criticism,|
|St Pancras||Explore the British Library|
|Newspapers, programmes||St Pancras||Explore the British Library|
|Playwrights' & publishers' manuscripts, including correspondence||St Pancras||Manuscripts Online Catalogue|
|Sound recordings||St Pancras||British Library Sound Archive|
- English Literature electronic databases
Information on English literature electronic resources, including full-text drama databases, available in the Humanities Reading Room.
- Literary and author societies
- Literature live
- Featured Authors
Information on the Library's special collections of printed books associated with modern authors, with finding lists and websites for a small selection of featured authors.
- Theatre reference sources
Information on theatre reference works held in the Humanities Reading Room.
- Performing Arts Websites: Theatre
Links to archives and other web resources concerned with theatre.
Many institutions have special book and manuscript collections associated with playwrights of the British Isles, including:
- National Library of Scotland
- National Library of Wales
- Trinity College Dublin
- Theatre Museum
- Cymdeithas Ddrama Cymru (Drama Association of Wales)
Many manuscript collections in Britain can be located using the UK National Register of Archives.