Archive Masthead

Collections

Our performing arts Archive holds unique records which document the history of Shakespeare’s Globe, in particular our performance history and are formed of three groups: the Performance Archive, Institutional Archive and Collected Archives.

The Archives are searchable online here.

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Performance Archive

This documents the creative aspects of theatrical performances at Shakespeare’s Globe from 1996 and demonstrates the processes that go into a production. It also charts the development of the experimental Original Practices approach to productions that was pioneered at the Globe during its first ten years, including an Original Practice archive of clothes created by Jenny Tiramani. The archive contains programmes, prompt books, wardrobe notes, photographs, scores, show reports and posters.  

Our moving image archive contains recordings of all performances from 1996 onwards and Globe Education events including Read Not Dead performances, audio and filmed recordings of over 200 plays written between 1567-1642; Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank: specially designed for young people and lectures, research workshops and conferences.

Institutional Archives

Institutional Archive

The Globe’s Institutional Archives (those records created by The Shakespeare Globe Trust and predecessor bodies) that document the decades of planning, persistence and enthusiasm that led to the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe, through Sam Wanamaker’s vision.

This includes correspondence, administrative papers, publicity material, fundraising events, photographs and Mark Rylance’s papers, during his Artistic Directorship at the Globe, 1995-2005.

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Collected Archives

The Archive also holds a small number of collections deposited by individuals and organisations related to the history of the Globe.

The most significant is the Pentagram Archive comprising architectural plans, project files and correspondence relating to the reconstruction of Shakespeare’s Globe by the architect Theo Crosby, who was a founding partner of the architectural firm Pentagram.

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Moving Image and Audio Archive

We have captured nearly all our productions since the Prologue Season in 1996.

We don’t edit our recordings and we use multiple static cameras, each placed at different angles to the stage. The intention is to create an objective view from different vantage points; as if you were watching from the audience. Several performances of each play are recorded from multiple angles to reflect the development of each production.

Audio recordings of lectures and talks dating back to the 1980’s, and recordings of Read Not Deadperformances are also available.

A full list of recordings is available in our Archive catalogue.

Archive recordings are solely for research purposes, and can only be consulted at the Globe Library & Archive. If you would like to see any of the recordings please email us to make an appointment at library@shakespearesglobe.com.

Many of our Theatre productions have been recorded for commercial purposes; where available, DVDs can be purchased from the Globe shop, or you can view many productions on demand through the Globe Player.

Library Collection

Library Collections

The collection focuses on scholarly publications that support Shakespeare and Early Modern Studies, especially in regard to theatre and performance history. The collection also addresses the history, building and use of our theatres, as well as the following subject areas:

Shakespeare and Contemporary Performance, Shakespeare and other early modern playwrights, Elizabethan and Jacobean history, Early Modern material culture and staging practices, Performance-based research into space and audiences, Acting Theory, Dramaturgy, Conservatory Training, and Costume and dress.

A collection of rare books has been slowly building since the earliest days of the Globe project. They have accrued through generous donation from many benefactors who engaged with the mission to build a specialist collection in support of our research. These include:

Rare Book Collection, John Wolfson Rare Book Collection, The Canadian Library, John Gielgud Collection, Sidney Thomson Fisher Collection, and Malone Society Reprints.