Shakespeare’s Globe has digitised its archive for the first time, including rarely seen items such as annotated scripts and show reports from more than 200 productions.
The archive goes back to Sam Wanamaker’s initial vision for the London theatre and details the venue’s construction as well as containing material from across the first 20 years.
These include prompt books, wardrobe notes, music, photographs and programmes, and are intended to give researchers “unprecedented access to the history of Shakespeare’s Globe”.
Highlights include oral histories from figures including Mark Rylance and Zoe Wanamaker as well as front-of-house show reports detailing audience behaviour at thousands of performances since the Globe opened in 1997.
The project is a collaboration between the Globe and academic source publisher Adam Matthew Digital, which provides primary sources for teaching and research.
Farah Karim-Cooper, head of higher education and research at the Globe, said: “Academic research is increasingly preoccupied with performance history and practice, so we’re delighted that the Globe’s important and exciting performance archive, showcasing our experimental theatremaking over the last 20 years, can now be accessed by scholars and student around the world thanks to the work of Adam Matthew Digital.”