Collectors

In this section we've listed 'artificial' collections, largely amassed by individuals with wide-ranging interests in collecting theatre documentation and ephemera, for example: enthusiasts who collected material related to a specific actor or theatrical genre. 

This is a non-exhaustive list of collectors in our collection, and more can be found by exploring our catalogue via the advanced search option.

CollectionDescription
Brown, Shirley Archive of the Bristol-based writer Shirley Brown, active from the 1970s onward. Includes papers relating to her career as a freelance writer, and her collection of material relating to theatre in general.
Cairns, Adrian Adrian Cairns (1924 - 2003) was an actor, broadcaster and drama teacher. His collection is composed of papers (correspondence, press cuttings, photographs and books) mostly related to the career of actor, director and scenic designer Edward Henry Gordon Craig CH OBE (born Edward Godwin; 1872 - 1966), sometimes known as Gordon Craig.
Croall, Jonathan The archive of theatre journalist Jonathan Croall, composed of research materials he compiled in his roles at the Old Vic and National Theatres, and while writing biographies of Sybil Thorndike and Sir John Gielgud. Also included is a small collection of material related to the careers of his parents, the actor John Stuart (1898 - 1979) and actress and voice coach Barbara Francis (1910 - 1983).
Core Theatre Collections This is a grouping of artificial collections, organised by format (design, programme, costume etc), historically used to catalogue small groups of archival and reference material donated to the Theatre Collection via various channels. They include designs, programmes, correspondence, photographs, slides and ephemera.
Digby Day, Richard The archive of British stage director and international theatre educator Richard Digby Day (b. 1941), composed of scripts, correspondence, costume designs, photographs, cuttings, artwork and ephemera generated and collected during his career.
Farjeon Family Material related to 3 individuals from 4 generations of the Farjeon family, donated by the Farjeon estate. Those 3 are: 1. JF) Scenic artist Joan Jefferson Farjeon (1913 - 2006) 2. JJ) Actor Joseph Jefferson the Third (1829 - 1905) 3. JJF) Actor, journalist, dramatist, script writer & novelist Joseph Jefferson Farjeon (1883 - 1955)
Garrett, John Collection of editor and educator John Walter Percy Garrett (1902 - 1966), composed mostly of ephemera from his association with the Auden circle, and the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Summer School.
Hallett, Terry Archive of the theatre enthusiast and writer Terry Hallett (c.1938 - 2009). Contains research material related to his book Bristol's Forgotten Empire - The History of The Empire Theatre.
Hunter, Norman - Model of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane Norman Hunter (1899 - 1995) was a writer and conjuror with a passion project to build a working model of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. This collection includes the model itself, with its props and sets for back and side scenes and working electricity.
Ingram, Raymond Dr Raymond John Ingram's collection of late 20th century British theatrical material. Included are: set and costume designs (largely by Leslie Hurry), material related to the life and work of Tanya Moiseivitsch, Programmes, press cuttings and playtexts.
Irving Family Collection related to the activities of four members, from four generations, of the Irving family to be involved with the Theatrical Arts. They are: 1. Actor, Sir Henry Irving (1838 - 1905), 2. Actor, Harry Brodribb Irving (1870 - 1919), 3. Designer, Laurence Irving OBE (1897 - 1988), 4. Producer, John H. B. Irving (1924 - 2016).
James, Ron - Collection of Capodimonte porcelain figurines A collection of antique Capodimonte porcelain Commedia Dell'Arte Figurines collected by enthusiast Ron James.
Jones Evans, Eric The Eric Jones Evans (1899 - 1989) collection contains material relating to his theatrical career as an actor and playwright, and his collections from the careers of actors Henry Irving (1838 - 1905), Bransby Williams (1870 - 1961) and Sir John Martin Harvey (1863 - 1944). 
Mander & Mitchenson Raymond Mander and Joe Mitchenson started collecting theatrical material in the 1930s. They later established a trust and became an independent charity, which continued to care for and add to the collection even after their deaths. The M&M collection was one of the three largest theatre history archives in the country when it was legally transferred in its entirety to the University of Bristol Theatre Collection in December 2010.
Mangan, Richard The Richard Mangan Collection contains research material he gathered while writing a biography of Sir John Gielgud. It is mostly composed of photocopies and transcripts of correspondence to and from Gielgud, but includes photographs, and National Theatre material 1963 - 2004.
Mills, David The David Mills archive of programmes, posters, playbills, press releases and flyers relating to late 20th century productions of Medieval Drama, incorporating the Peter MacDonald bequest.
Purver, Richard - Collection of Dame Flora Robson correspondence A collection gathered by Richard Purver of the Southgate District Civic Trust during the course of his research into the actress Dame Flora Robson (1902 - 1984). Included is personal correspondence, articles, cuttings and photographs.
Scriven, Paul - Collection of Dame Anna Neagle material Materials related to the life and career of British actress Dame Anna Neagle (1904 - 1986), collected by enthusiast Paul Scriven MBE.
Smith, ACH ACH Smith (b. 1935) is a British novelist, playwright and poet. His collection contains material relating to Orghast at Persepolis including working notes, photographs, programmes and Ted Hughes material, and papers relating to locally staged (Bristol and South West of England) and national productions, from the 1960s to present day.
Southern, Richard Richard Southern (1903 - 1989) was a theatre designer, academic, researcher and prolific collector. His collection is an important visual resource, particularly strong in the areas of theatre architecture and backstage information, including plans, photographs, cuttings, as well as scenery and costume.
Tanitch, Robert Robert Tanitch is a British writer, lecturer, critic and former education projects director at the London Old Vic. This is his collection of papers concerning British regional theatre buildings (not productions) provided by their own respective press offices.
Tessler, Jeff A collection of photographs of 20th century Pantomime backcloths / stagings collected by enthusiast Jeff Tessler.
Truman, Olivia The papers of Olivia Marie Truman (1888 - 1970). Includes correspondence with, and largely about, Sir Herbert Beerbohm Tree. This collection is the original source material for the book of transcribed letters: 'Beerbohm Tree's Olivia' by Olivia Truman; introduced and edited by her daughter Isolde Wigram.
Varcoe, Adrian Adrian Varcoe (1944 – 2005) was a Bristol based actor and drag artist who amassed a collection of papers spanning British theatre activity during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Particularly related to James Macready Chute and other members of the Chute family, and to Ethel & Murray Carrington at the Memorial Theatre, Stratford-upon- Avon.
Vézelay / Watson-Williams Family A collection of works donated by Sally Jarman related to her aunt, the British artist Paule Vézelay (born Marjorie Watson-Williams, 1892 - 1984). These include 2 significant Vézelay artworks: "Bristol Hippodrome" (watercolour, 1918) and "Tightrope Dancer" (Indian ink, 1921). Other pieces in the collection include theatrical ephemera which were created and/or collected by Vézelay's father, Dr Patrick Watson-Williams (1863 - 1938).
Women's Theatre Collection These records and archives were initially gathered together as part of a project run by Professor Lynda Fitzsimmons at the University of Bristol in the 1990s, on the theme of representing the contribution of women within UK Theatre. The collection has since been added to.
Winter, Michael Collection of items largely from the Bournemouth Theatre Company as collected by British theatre director Michael Winter, active c.1967 - 2003. Includes designs by Richard Pickett for The Misanthrope and production photographs 1967 - 1970.
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