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19th Century Theatre History

An overview of the resources available for researchers in the field of 19th Century Theatre.

Historical and subject specific electronic databases

British Periodicals


Microform Sets

To find periodicals in the Microform Center check the library catalog first. Periodicals in the Microform Center are generally listed in the catalog  and filed alphabetically by title, either as microfilm, microfiche or microcard. For a complete listing of all microform sets available see the binder at the first floor reference desk marked LL2 Periodicals, Newspapers, Scripts, Microforms.

The following list is of microform sets that may be of interest for researchers of both American and British plays.

  • Drama on the World Stage: Prompt Books and Performance Records
    Call No: Film 2614
    Prompt books for non-Shakespearean plays, from the Folger Shakespeare Library. Items date from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century. Plays are mainly British, with some exceptions, notably work of Ibsen. Around 800 in all.
    Access: Publisher's guide: Drama on the World Stage. PN2570.D7 1989, in the first floor Reference Room.
  • English and American Drama of the Nineteenth Century
    Call No: MP7 (microprint) and MF326 (microfiche)
    Varied dramatic works from nineteenth century England and America, including plays, opera libretti, etc. American and British productions of works from other countries and of pre-1800 plays are included.
    Access: Nineteenth-Century American Drama: a finding guide, in the first floor Reference Room at Ref1 PS632.H57 & English Drama of the Nineteenth Century: an index and finding guide, at Z2014.D7 E42 1985 on the 10th floor.
  • Popular Stage: Drama in the Nineteenth Century England
    Call No:Film 2615
    A collection formed by the actor Frank Pettingell. Series One covers 1000 manuscripts by the most popular dramatists of the Victorian era. Series Two covers 300 pantomime libretti, reflecting the tremendous popularity of the form and Series Three covers the collection of printed plays over 5000 in all. On reel one there is a complete listing which gives an alphabetical index of authors and details of the plays.
    Access: The Popular Stage guides to all three series can be found in the first floor reference area at Ref1 PN2594.P6.
  • Three Centuries of English and American Plays
    Call No: MP13 (microprint)
    Comprehensive collection of English plays, published 1515-1800, and American plays, published 1714-1830. Includes translations of foreign plays and multiple editions of many titles. Around 5600 plays in all.
    Access: Three Centuries of English and American Plays: a checklist. Z2014.D7 B45, in the first floor Reference Room and the Microform Center.
    *Collection divided into segments: American 1714-1830; British 1515-1641, 1642-1700, 1701-1750, 1751-1800. Plays arranged by author or title for anonymous works.