Location: Microprint Shelves M-19 through M-27 (ask at the Circulation Desk for access) and continued in Microfiche Cabinet 39.
Scope: The compilers of this collection have attempted to include the earliest known editions of every play published in the nineteenth century. Where no printed editions could be found, manuscripts were used. Prompt books and acting editions were also included. It is intended to be the most complete repository of the dramatic output of the period, both in the variety of forms represented and in the extensive number of plays which it contains. Historical drama, comic opera, unperformed poetic plays, pantomimes, extravaganzas, satiric comedies and burlettas are all included in this collection of about 28,000 plays.
How to search the collection: The collection is divided up into separate English and American sections. Within each section the microprint cards are filed in the red boxes alphabetically by the name of the playwright (or by the title in the case of anonymous works). The range of playwright names within each box is written on the front of the box. The English section is stored on shelves M19 – M23 in the Multimedia Room, while the American section is stored on M25 – M27. The last few shipments were sent in microfiche rather than microprint format and can be found in cabinet 39. A finding guide to the English plays issued through 1981 in this collection is located on the Multimedia Index Table. It is called English Drama of the Nineteenth Century (PN 1654.Z99E4 1985 REF) compiled by James Ellis.