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British and Commonwealth Literary Studies

Victorian Drama

The Collection

Stanford has several substantial collections of playscripts printed during the Victorian period. Published and marketed both for amateur and professional performers, they reflect the theatrical tastes of the period.

Location of All Collections: Department of Special Collections, Green Library

Research Access and Use: Materials in the Department of Special Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the Special Collections' Reading Room in the Cecil H. Green Library. The Reading Room is open 10:00am to 5:00pm Monday through Friday. Photocopies, photographs, and microfilm can be made of some materials in the collections. For more information about the collections and access policies, please contact Special Collections by telephone at (650) 725-1022, by electronic mail at or by regular mail at the Department of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, California 94305-6004.

Collection 1--Compilations: Publication of most 19th-century plays was in the form of an "acting edition." The different and competing theatrical publishers served a large market--each with his own series of titles. The texts of these plays were often bound in composite volumes. A collection of 566 predominantly Victorian plays preserved in this format is held in Special Collections.
Access: The plays can be accessed through SOCRATES by individual author or title, or found as a collection by typing "BROWSE call PN6111.p72" and limiting location to Special Collections.

Collection 2--Individual Plays: A separate collection consists of of 250 Victorian acting editions preserved as they were originally released, published individually. Most of them are in their original printed wrappers, which contain information about publishing methods, advertisements of previous plays in the series, and details of other series put out by each publisher.
Access: The plays are catalogued in Socrates in groups under the series title, listed below, and by individual title or author.

  • Barth's Universal Stage
  • The British Theatre
  • Cumberland's British Theatre
  • Dicks' Standard Plays
  • Duncombe's Editiuon
  • French's Acting Editions
  • Hasting's Acting Plays
  • Lacy's Acting Editions
  • Miller's Modern Acting Drama
  • Oxberry's New English Drama
  • Pattie's Modern Stage
  • Pattie's Universal Stage
  • Sherwood's Dramatic Library
  • Threepenny Acting Drama
  • Webster's Acting National Drama

Collection 3--Individual Plays: Another, smaller set of plays in their original wrappers can be located in Socrates under the title heading, "Collection of Nineteenth-Century Acting Edition Plays" or by individual title or author, as listed below:

  • A'Beckett, A. G. Timour, the Cream of All Tartars
  • Bruton, J. A Tale of a Pig
  • Croker, T. C. Daniel O'Rourke; or Rhymes of a Pantomime
  • Drinkwater, A. E. A Legend of Vandale
  • Emson, F. E. Ivy Hall, Richmond
  • Fitzball, E. The Cadis Daughter
  • Jameson, R. W. Timelon: A Tragedy in Five Acts
  • Johnstone, J. B. Harlequin Green Beetle: or the Three Princesses of the Pumpkin
  • Oxberry, W. H. Acis and Galatea Paraphrased: in One Act
  • Phibbs, M. Alice Western: or the Dangers of Coquetry
  • Planche, J. R. The Drama at Home: or an Evening with Puff
  • Plowman, T. F. Isaac Abroad: or Ivanhoe Settled and Rebecca Righted
  • Reecer, R. Ulf, the Minstral: or the Player, the Princess, and the Prophecy
  • Richards, A. B. Isolda: or Good King Stephen
  • Stafford, J. J. The Frenchman in London: or Where's my Daughter?
  • Younge, A. The First of May

Research Aids for the Victorian Drama Collection
A History of English Drama, 1660 - 1900
PR625.N52 1952 General Reference, Green Library

Last modified: July 14, 2006

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