Quick Facts

  • About 1.5 million pages
  • Cross-searchable with other Nineteenth Century Collections Online archives

GEOGRAPHY COVERED:

TIME PERIOD: 1733-1968

 

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Nineteenth Century Collections Online: British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture features a wide range of primary sources related to the arts in the Victorian era, from playbills and scripts to operas and complete scores. These rare documents, many of them never before available, were sourced from the British Library and other renowned institutions, and curated by experts in British arts history. Covering more than a century, British Theatre, Music, and Literature is without equal as a resource for 19th century scholars.

Interest in the arts became big business in the Victorian era, as a burgeoning middle class became patrons. British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture includes thousands of invaluable primary sources – including original, signed works – that explore Victorian popular culture, bloods and penny dreadfuls, music, the history of the English stage, the Royal Literary Fund and much more.

Collections include:

  • Archives of the Royal Literary Fund
  • Archives of the Royal Philharmonic Society
  • Crystal Palace Saturday Concerts
  • Crystal Palace Triennial Handel Festival
  • Drury Lane Theatre Archive
  • J.W. Davison Papers
  • King’s Theatre, Haymarket Archive
  • Konzert-Programm-Austausch
  • London Theatre Archives: Programmes, Receipts
  • Lord Chamberlain’s Plays
  • Manuscript Music from the Library of the Royal Philharmonic Society
  • Royal Albert Hall Archives
  • Sir George Smart Papers
  • St. James Hall Monday/ Saturday Popular Concerts
  • Wandering Minstrels
  • And many more

Nineteenth Century Collections Online is the most ambitious scholarly digitization and publication program ever undertaken, providing full-text, fully searchable content from a wide range of primary sources. Selected with the guidance of an international team of expert advisors, these primary sources are invaluable for a wide range of academic disciplines and areas of study, providing never before possible research opportunities for one of the most studied historical periods.

 
Bound volume of Lord Chamberlain’s plays, sourced from the British Library.  Every volume is handled with care as individual pieces are scanned to the Nineteenth Century Collections Online platform.

Significance: This unparalleled collection provides a detailed look at the state of the British art world with, for example, not only manuscripts and compositions, but also documents such as personal letters, annotated programs, meeting minutes, and financial records, offering scholars an unmatched glimpse into the inner workings of the arts world and life in Victorian Britain.

Structure: British Theatre, Music, and Literature: High and Popular Culture is available on Gale’s cutting-edge research platform. This state-of-the-art platform was developed using our flexible Agile approach,  incorporating user testing and feedback throughout the process to ensure that we are providing the features that scholars require — such as detailed subject indexing and metadata, textual analysis tools, personalized user accounts, and more — for research in the digital age.

Source:  These rare documents, many of them never before available, were sourced from the British Library and other renowned institutions, and curated by experts in British arts history.

 

 

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