University of Delaware Library

Special Collections Department

Irish Theatre Journals

1793, 1868 - 1901

Manuscript Collection Number: 374
Accessioned: Purchase, July 1971.
Extent: .6 linear ft.
Content: Clippings, programs, articles, and notes.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: August 1999 by Anita A. Wellner.

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Table of Contents

Scope and Content Note

Irish Theatre Journals is a collection of six bound volumes of clippings, programs, articles, and autograph notes regarding theater in Dublin, Ireland. Loose pages of notes, and clippings -- also related to Irish theater -- complete the collection. The bulk of the collection dates between 1868 and 1901, but there are a few entries for the year 1793. The scrapbook/journals comprise a collection of research material, possibly for a book or articles on the history of theater in Dublin.

The creator of the journals is unidentified, although the names "G. Willington Raur" and "Mr. Reordan" appear on the final pages of the third volume. The journals' assembler may have been the author of a serialized article titled "History of the Dublin Theatres." Clippings of a series of magazine articles bearing this title suggest this possibility. The clippings bear autograph corrections and in a few cases, substantial additions to the text, as if being edited for future re-publication. Unfortunately the author of the printed article is only identified as "an Old play-goer."

The journals are similar in content and composition to manuscript notebooks compiled by the noted Irish historian, Dr. William John Lawrence (1862-1940). He assembled a large body of research on Irish theater, and particularly Dublin's stage and amusements. This research was gathered in more than 99 volumes of notebooks, consisting of transcriptions and summaries of source material, with notes and clippings. Dr. Lawrence had hoped to publish a record of Irish theater from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century but the project was never completed. He bequeathed his journals to the University of Cincinnati Library.

In addition to clippings of the column, "History of the Dublin Theatres," the journals contain clippings of advertisements and reviews of theater performances, operas, exhibitions, and other local entertainment in Dublin. Occasionally the clippings detail the lives of actors or are "gossip" columns regarding local amusements.

Several of the journals contain autograph transcriptions of theater flyers or programs from the Theatre Royal Dublin (1868-1879), Gaiety Theatre (1871-1884), and Fishamble Street Theatre (1793). These transcriptions, 1868-1884, include titles of plays or musicals performed, lists of cast, dates and times for performances, and any other stage information given on the original item. The transcribed original theater programs and flyers provide rare information regarding performances at several Dublin theaters.

A few miscellaneous items appear in the journals, such as copied songs, a couple of pages of receipts (1889), and pages listing the physical contents of a printer's office.

The journals were obviously created in the process of researching Dublin theaters active during the nineteenth- and early twentieth century. The journals are an excellent resource for information regarding Dublin theaters from 1868-1901.


Clark, William Smith. The Early Irish Stage: the beginnings to 1720. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1955. pp. v-vii.

Greene, John C. And Gladys L. H. Clark. The Dublin Stage, 1720-1745, a calendar of plays, entertainments, and afterpieces. Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press. p. 12.

Note: Information also derived from the scrapbooks/journals.

Contents List

Box -- Folder -- Contents

1         Note:  Folder titles bear cover titles of the commercial binders in which these
          scrapbook/journals were compiled.

     F1   "Chambers's Memoranda 1874," 1874-1876
          Bound journal with pasted-in clippings from The Freeman's Journal, The Irish
          Times, The Daily News, and Daily Tribune; as well as flyers advertising theater
          performances.  The clippings feature reviews of performances at Grafton Theatre
          of Varieties, The Lyceum, Gaiety Theatre, Queen's Royal Theatre, Theatre Royal
          (Dublin), and Rotundo (Dublin).  Some of the clippings regard presentations at
          performance halls, such as Carlton Concert Hall, Antient Concert Rooms, and the
          Dublin Exhibition Palace.  Other clippings are advertisements for performances at
          these Dublin theaters or other local entertainment.  Other topics include "The
          Story of the Wandering Heir," "gossip" columns regarding local entertainment,
          "Dublin Portraits," Old Schools of Dublin, Italian opera, musical events,
          pantomimes, exhibitions, and tours of Dublin.  An autograph copy of "Ballad"
          (1875 Feb 14) sung by "Mr. and Mrs. Fielding, Irish-American Comedians at the
          Grafton Theatre of Varieties," and an untitled song (n.d.) are also present.  Some
          of the clippings bear autograph dates.

     F2   "Chambers's Memoranda for 1879," 1877-1878
          Clippings from copies of The Magnet regarding Crow Street Theatre, Fishamble
          Street Theatre, Royal Theatre.  The clippings were part of the serialized article,
          "The History of the Dublin Theatres" and bear autograph corrections, additions,
          and deletions.  The pages of clippings have been numbered 49-109 and are
          probably a continuation of the material found in F7.  Autograph notes indicate
          when parts of the series are missing.  Also includes a page of autograph notes to
          be added to the section of the series which discussed the Fishamble St. Theatre. 

     F3   "Chambers's Memoranda 1883," 1868-1887
          Autograph notes and transcriptions of flyers and advertisements for Theatre Royal
          Dublin (1868-1879) and Gaiety Theatre (1871-1872).  The exact wording of flyers
          or advertisements has been copied, including lists of cast and descriptions of

2    F4   "Dollard's Scribbling Diary 1886," 1793-1900
          Newspaper clippings pasted to pages of the volume consist of  reviews of theater
          performances and advertisements for Dublin theaters.  Also includes autograph
          lists of the plays or performances during 1793 at Fishamble and Royal Theatres,
          transcripts of flyers for Gaiety Theatre (1872-1884), and a page of receipts for
          1889 (which has been crossed through).  Some of the clippings bear autograph
          dates or sources.

     F5   "Westland," 1898-1900
          Newspaper clippings pasted in, many of which are reviews of, or advertisements
          for theater presentations, although a few clippings are news items regarding
          actors.  Autograph dates are written on some clippings and a few of the clippings
          were pasted over autograph ledger entries.

     F6   "Chambers's Mercantile Scribbling Diary for 1890," 1901
          Newspaper clippings or magazine articles pasted to the pages, with most of the
          clippings regarding Dublin theaters performances.  Also includes a few pages of
          autograph ledger entries listing the contents of a machine room, a printer's
          composing room, plus a reprint of an article regarding a theater presentation.

     F7   [Clippings and notes], 1876-1889
          Loose pages of autograph notes, including pages 205-222 of a manuscript
          regarding theater in Dublin, notes regarding Crow Street Theatre and Smock
          Alley Theatre, a page of transcribed theater bills, and part of a song.  Also
          includes tear sheets from magazines regarding theatre in Dublin and clippings.

     F8   "History of the Dublin Theatres" 1896
          Includes pasted-in clippings of the serialized article, "History of the Dublin
          Theatres," which are numbered pages 9-40.  The author's byline is "by an Old
          play-goer" and the pages bear autograph revisions, deletions,  additions, and
          extensive autograph notes.  Some of the clippings appeared in To-day's Woman. 
          Also includes pp. 2-4 of "History of the Dublin Theatres," apparently removed
          from "a work published at Dublin, in 1788, and written by one Robert Hitchcock"
          (prompter at the Theatre Royal), which was quoted, at length, in Chapter 1 of the

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