Tag Archives: theatre

Watching Theatre Online – yes please!

Have you seen our new resource, Digital Theatre Plus?

Digital Theatre Plus productions. digitaltheatreplus.com


Digital Theatre Plus is an online video resource which provides access to a range of productions: Shakespeare, classic plays, new writing, classical music and opera. It will be useful for students studying Shakespeare, adaptations and those interested in playwriting.

It is easily accessible from the English Subject Guide under ‘Multimedia Resources’. 

Once you’ve accessed the site, you can stream productions in full, or break them down by scene, act, or speech – and the database also includes interviews with the cast and creative teams behind a number of the productions. Digital Theatre Plus are always adding to the collection, and you can sign up for updates or follow them on Facebook.

If you’re watching from home please use CampusAnywhere to access the site without having to log in, but if you’re on campus you should find that you can watch any of the productions.

Any problems or questions, please contact Kim in the Library on k.coles@rhul.ac.uk.

The Shakespeare Collection Online

The Shakespeare Collection is an extensive collection including e-books of the most recent Arden Shakespeare editions, other editions and adaptations of Shakespeare’s works, other works published during Shakespeare’s time, prompt books, theatrical diaries, criticism, reviews, images, and reference materials. It is a great place to begin studying Shakespeare, and has lots of clever features.

How to access:

– Under E-resources on the English and Drama & Theatre subject guides.


1. Go to The Databases A-Z guide on the library subject guides.

2. Go to S

3. Select Shakespeare Collection

Searching for a play

Use the basic search to find texts of Shakespeare’s plays:

shakespearecollection basic search

Under Texts – Arden editions select they play you are interested in and you can read the full text. Click on View Notes to read the Arden notes on the text.

shakespearecollection viewnotes

Comparing texts

You can also compare historical editions of texts with the recent Arden edition.

To compare the first known editions of Hamlet (1603 & 1604 Quartos) and the modern, Arden edition of the play:

  1. Open The Shakespeare Collection and go to the basic search page.
  2. Enter “Hamlet”, select the “Keyword” radio button, and click on the search button.
  3. Under the Arden tab, mark the Arden edition of Hamlet.
  4. Under the Historical tab, mark the second and third items (Quarto 1 and Quarto 2).
  5. Open Quarto 1 and click on the “Compare Documents” link.
  6. Scroll around in the left window to get a good view of the play.
  7. In the right window, open the Arden edition of the play.
  8. Scroll and compare the two versions.
  9. In the Arden edition, select “View Notes” for more information about the scene.
  10. In the top right corner of the right screen, select “Compare Another”.
  11. Open the 1604-1605 edition of the play.
  12. Page forward to get to the start of the play.

Searching for a quotation

You can use the Basic Search to find a quotation, or instances of a word or phrase.

1. Type the quotation into the search bar, and select the “Entire Document” radio button. Click Search.

shakespearecollection quotationsearch

2. Choose “First Relevant Scene”. The quotation you searched for will be displayed in red.
3. Choose the “Next” button to skip to the next instance of the word/quotation.

RHUL’s Archive Collections

RHC PH/207/9
Students in a classroom at Royal Holloway College 1899

As Library Loves… Archives month draws to a close this post will tell you a bit about the collections we hold here at Royal Holloway. If you haven’t made it to one of our Explore Your Archive sessions you may still be in the dark as to what we actually have. The collections can be split into two main groups: institutional records and special collections.


Institutional Records

These are records which have been created by RHUL or its predecessors.  In the 1980s Royal Holloway and Bedford Colleges merged together to form RHUL and we have the records of both the Colleges in the archives. Bedford College was the first to open (in 1849 in central London) and was the first higher education college for women in the country. Royal Holloway followed a few years later and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1886. Both collections hold records from the opening of the Colleges including foundation deeds and trust documents as well as photographs, committee minutes, papers of student societies, student and staff records, College and student publications among many other things!

We also continue to collect records from the College today so that future researchers can look back at how the College operates now. This newer material isn’t always catalogued – it’s an ongoing process! So if you want to look at something which you can’t find in the catalogue get in touch and we can see if we have it.


Special Collections

Different repositories use the term ‘special collection’ to mean different things (something which puzzled me a lot when I first started working in archives!) but here we call any collection that has been created/collected outside the College and then donated to us a special collection. Our special collections include rare book collections as well as archives but I’m just going to focus on the archive special collections in this post.

Our main collecting area for special collections is theatre archives. We have three collections from theatre companies – Gay Sweatshop, Half Moon and Red Shift. All three contain similar records relating to the running of the company and the productions they put on. This includes administrative and financial records, scripts, promotional material (including flyers and posters) and photographs of productions. We also have two ephemera collections: the Coton collection which contains material relating to ballet and other forms of dance including photographs, postcards and programmes; and the Roy Waters collection which is the largest of our theatre collections. Roy Waters was a theatre enthusiast who spend 40 years of his life collecting anything and everything to do with the theatre. The collection is hugely varied and includes postcards, posters, playbills, programmes, autographed letters from famous actors and actresses and much much more!

We also have the Alfred Sherman papers which cover Sherman’s role as an advisor to Margaret Thatcher and the Anselm Hughes collection which are the personal and research papers of a liturgical music scholar.


You can find out more about all of our collections through our website: www.rhul.ac.uk/archives which also has a link to the online catalogue and our contact details.


If you don’t think our collections would be of use to you in your research but would like to find other collections which would be take a look at our previous blog about finding archives in the UK: http://libraryblog.rhul.ac.uk/2013/11/14/finding-archives-uk/

Annabel Gill, College Archivist