Using the Collection
The Lord Chamberlain's Plays of the period 1852-1863 are held in the British Library. Plays of this period are searchable via the British Library Manuscripts Catalogue. However, they can only be ordered in person at the British Library. This entails filling in and submitting a form available from the Manuscripts Reading Room Staff. Requested manuscripts are usually available for viewing within an hour.
One of the innovations of this project is to index the content of the plays, making them searchable electronically and by subject for the first time. Readers are advised to see the Keyword List. The most effective method of searching the plays by subject is to enter keywords into the descriptions search. The Manuscripts Catalogue website also provides search tips.
Alternatively, researchers can locate plays through pdfs of the full catalogue available on this website. These are organized according to year and are fully searchable by word or phrase. Researchers might also consult the keywords page, which lists keywords in bold. Cross-referenced subjects subsumed within each keyword appear in a list below
For further guidance, please contact Kathryn Johnson, Curator of Modern Theatrical Archives, British Library: Kathryn.Johnson@bl.uk.