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How we organise our collections

Our holdings are split into three main sections:


This covers the traditional theatre based archives (from 1572 to the present day) and material, including actors, directors, managers, designers, theatre companies, photographers etc. – anything which feeds into the process of putting theatre on the stage and recording it.

This incorporates the Mander & Mitchenson Collection and the Women’s Theatre Collection.

Live Art

This covers live and performance art from the 1960s to the present day. It incorporates a range of material including extensive a/v material from the National Review of Live Art festival, archives of organisations such as greenroom, companies such as Bodies in Flight and individual artists such as Franko B and Alastair Snow.


We hold over 20,000 books and more than 300 journal titles which are available on open access in our reference library. Our rare books (pre-1900, fragile and limited editions) are kept in our archive strong rooms and are available on request.