The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0354 Wednesday, 1 September 2010
From: Hardy M. Cook <
Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Subject: Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project
Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project
The Archive of Dulwich College in London, England, holds thousands of pages of
manuscripts left to the College by its founder, the eminent actor Edward Alleyn
(1566-1626). This archive includes his personal and professional papers and
those he inherited from his father-in-law Philip Henslowe (d. 1616). As a group,
these manuscripts comprise the largest and most important single extant archive
of material on the professional theatre and dramatic performance in early modern
England, the age of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, Middleton, Heywood, Dekker,
Chettle, and so many of their contemporaries and colleagues.
Henslowe and Alleyn built and expanded several London public playhouses,
including the Rose, the Fortune, and the Hope, the foundations of some of which
have recently been discovered or excavated by Museum of London staff. Named by
King James I as Joint 'Masters of the Royal Game of Bears, Bulls and Mastiff
Dogs', Henslowe and Alleyn also staged such blood sports as bull- and bear- and
lion-baiting at the Bear Garden and other venues, including royal palaces.
Henslowe and Alleyn commissioned plays from dramatists and ran several of the
most successful acting companies of the time, including the Lord Strange's Men
and the Lord Admiral's Men, for which Alleyn performed such famous roles as Dr
Faustus and Tamburlaine. The sole surviving actor's 'part' (or script) from the
period, for the play _Orlando Furioso_, is in the Dulwich archive, as is the
'plot' (or prompter's outline) of the play _The Second Part of the Seven Deadly
Sins_, one of only six plots from this period known to survive in part or in
whole. In fact, most of what modern scholars know about the early modern English
theatre, both as financial enterprise and artistic endeavour, comes from the
study of the Henslowe and Alleyn papers at Dulwich College.
The Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project has two aims and objectives: first, to
protect and conserve these increasingly fragile manuscripts, and, second, to
make their contents much more widely available in a free electronic archive and
website, not only to specialist scholars but to all those interested in early
modern English drama and theatre history, as well as social, economic, regional,
architectural, and legal history, and palaeography and manuscript studies. It is
the hope of the Henslowe Alleyn Digitisation Project members that the use of
these manuscripts in electronic and digital form will not be confined to
students and scholars but to a wide-ranging and ever-changing community of
readers in a variety of ways.
Over 2000 digita limages of manuscripts from the Henslowe-Alleyn archive of theatrical papers (1580s-1640s) including Henslowe's Diary, Alleyn's Diary, The Fortune Theatre Contract, The Rose Theatre Deed of Partnership, The 'Part' of Orlando, The Plot of The Seven Deadly Sins, Pt 2 The Manuscript Play of The Telltale, The Royal Patent for Bearbaiting and 15 Digital Essays by leading scholars.
List of Essays
Manuscripts in MSS 1
'W.P's Letter to Edward Alleyn with a Copy of Verses Addressed to 'sweete Nedd',
by H. R. Woudhuysen.
'An Inventory of Theatrical Apparel (c. 1601/2)', by S. P. Cerasano.
'A Letter from Nathan Field, Robert Daborne and Philip Massinger to Philip
Henslowe (c. 1614)', by R. A. Foakes and Grace Ioppolo.
'Robert Daborne's Contracts to Write Plays for Philip Henslowe (1613)', by Grace
'Robert Daborne's Foul Papers and Fair Copies (1613)', by Grace Ioppolo.
'Ben Jonson's Autograph Fair Copies of Two Poems', by Peter Beal.
The 'Part' of Orlando in Robert Greene's play Orlando Furioso', by R. A. Foakes.
Manuscripts in MSS 2
'A Draft of the Royal Patent for the Mastership of the Game of Bears, Bulls, and
Mastiff Dogs (November 24, 1604)', by S. P. Cerasano.
Manuscripts in MSS 7
'Henslowe's Diary (1591-1609)', by S. P. Cerasano.
Manuscripts in MSS 9
'The Diary of Edward Alleyn (1617-1622)', by Grace Ioppolo.
Manuscripts in MSS 19
'The 'Platt' (or Plot) of The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins', by R. A.
Manuscripts in MSS 20
'The Manuscript of The Telltale', by R. A. Foakes, Peter Beal and Grace Ioppolo.
Muniments, Series 1 and 3
'The Deed of Partnership in the Rose Playhouse (January 10, 1587)', by Julian
Bowsher and S. P. Cerasano.
'The Contract for the Fortune Playhouse (1600)', by R. A. Foakes.
'The Foundation Deed of God's Gift College (1619)', by Jan Piggott.
Founder and Director: Grace Ioppolo
Photographer: David Cooper
Computer Manager: Paul Vetch
Advisory Board: Peter Beal, Julian Bowsher, S. P. Cerasano, R. A. Foakes, John Lavagnino, Calista Lucy, Jan Piggott, H. R. Woudhuysen
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook,
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>
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