Search within this description

Contents

THM/368 - William Archer Collection
About this page

William Archer Collection

Archives described on the Archives Hub are held in repositories across the UK

  • this Description
  • View XML | View Text
This material is held at V&A Department of Theatre and Performance
Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368
Dates of Creation 1868-1990
Name of Creator William Archer
Language of Material English
Physical Description 286 folders (16 boxes) , 8 prints, 46 volumes and 1 small card catalogue box

Scope and Content

This collection contains the personal papers of William Archer. It includes bound volumes of his published articles, his publications, press cuttings, correspondence and notebooks as well as some of his research material.

Administrative / Biographical History

William Archer (23 September 1856 - 27 December 1924) was born in Perth, son of Thomas Archer, Agent-General of Queensland in Australia. He was to emerge at the forefront of a new school of dramatic critics in Victorian England and remained an important figure in British theatrical circles into the 20th century. Beginning as a writer on the Edinburgh Evening News in 1875, he went on to become the dramatic critic of the London Figaro 1879-1881, and then The World 1884-1905. From 1905-1908 he was dramatic critic of The Tribune, and 1910-1911 of The Nation.

In 1889, he reworked the existing translation of Ibsen's A Doll's House for its first London production. This led to a complete translation of Ibsen's works under Archer's supervision. Among his own published plays are War is War (1919) and The Green Goddess (1920). An attempted collaboration on a play with his friend George Bernard Shaw did not come to fruition. He published many critical studies, pamphlets and articles concerning the theatre. He also had a long held ambition to see a national theatre established for England.

William Archer spent some of his childhood in Norway, and in 1908 he was made a Knight of the Order of St. Olav. He was called to the Bar in 1883, but never practised. He was a member of the Rationalist Press Association; and worked in the cause of the League of Nations.

William Archer married Frances Elizabeth Trickett, with whom he had a son Thomas who was killed in action during the First World War.

Arrangement

This collection is divided into ten series:

  • THM/368/1 - William Archer publications and writings
  • THM/368/2 - Other manuscripts
  • THM/368/3 - Material relating to theatrical productions and translations
  • THM/368/4 - Correspondence
  • THM/368/5 - Images, photographs and plans
  • THM/368/6 - Playbills and programmes
  • THM/368/7 - Ephemera
  • THM/368/8 - Material relating to a proposed National Theatre and endowed theatres abroad
  • THM/368/9 - Material relating to censorship
  • THM/368/10 - Material Ancillery to the William Archer Collection

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for consultation in the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance's Reading Room, which is located at Blythe House, 23 Blythe Rd, Olympia, London, W14 0QX. The Reading Room is open Tuesday to Friday between 10.15 am and 4.30 pm. Access to it is by appointment only. To request an appointment please email tmenquiries@vam.ac.uk or telephone 020 7942 2698.

Access to some of these files may be restricted. These are identified at file level..

Conditions Governing Use

Archive material may not be photocopied. Arrangements can be made to photograph material in the search room using non-flash photography.

Appraisal Information

Appraised according to Collection Policy.

Acquisition Information

This collection was formerly owned by the British Theatre Association Library, and was subsequently acquired in its entirety by the V&A Theatre Museum in 1991.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Material

See also V&A Department of Theatre & Performance Core Collections: material relating to William Archer may be found in several collections, including the biographical and production files, and the library collections. Please ask for details.

Separated Material

Archer's book collection has been removed and added to the V&A Department of Theatre and Performance library collection.

Subjects

Theater Critics -- Great Britain

Personal Names

Archer, William. ( 1856-1924)
Ibsen, Henrik. ( 1828-1906)
Shaw, George Bernard. ( 1856-1950)

Cataloguing Info

Title William Archer Collection
Sub-title Catalogue of records in the Victoria & Albert Museum: Department of Theatre and Performance
Author Catalogued by Ewan Evans
Revisions

Publications and writings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1
Dates of Creation 1868-1924
Physical Description 43 folders and 35 volumes

Scope and Content

This series consists of criticism, plays and other published writings by William Archer

Arrangement

This series is divided in to six subseries:

  • THM/368/1/1 - Bound volumes of published articles by William Archer
  • THM/368/1/2 - Press cuttings
  • THM/368/1/3 - Published booklets written by William Archer
  • THM/368/1/4 - Autograph manuscripts and drafts by William Archer
  • THM/368/1/5 - Transcripts of lectures delivered by William Archer
  • THM/368/1/6 - Notebooks by William Archer on theatrical subjects

Bound volumes of published articles by William Archer

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1
Dates of Creation 1875-1924
Physical Description 12 volumes

Scope and Content

Consists of collected clippings of articles written by William Archer published in various national and international newspapers and periodicals. The articles are bound into 11 volumes, many contain annotations and unless otherwise stated all volumes contain an index.

Arrangement

These volumes are arranged chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to these items is restricted for conservation reasons.


Magazine Articles, 1875-1887

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/1
Dates of Creation 1875-1887
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Magazine Articles, 1884-1922

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/2
Dates of Creation 1884-1922
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Occasional Articles, 1885-1901

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/3
Dates of Creation 1885-1901
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume contains a loose article on the Royal Court Theatre, London.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.

Corporate Names

Royal Court Theatre -- London

Theatrical History: 19th Century, 1887

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/4
Dates of Creation 1887
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


World Articles, 1889-1892

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/5
Dates of Creation 1889-1892
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume consists of collected articles from issues of World magazine, for which Archer wrote theatre reviews. The volume is not annotated.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Articles on Ibsen, 1889-1925

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/6
Dates of Creation 1889-1925
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume contains two loose annotated postcards from a Japanese production of Ibsen's A Doll's House.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.

Personal Names

Ibsen, Henrik. ( 1828-1906)

Collected magazine Articles, 1890-1896

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/7
Dates of Creation 1890-1896
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


World Articles, 1898-1901

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/8
Dates of Creation 1898-1901
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume consists of collected articles from issues of World magazine, for which Archer wrote theatre reviews. Contains a loose review.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


World Articles, 1901-1905

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/9
Dates of Creation 1901-1905
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume consists of collected articles from issues of World magazine, for which Archer wrote theatre reviews.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


The Nation, 1908-1910

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/10
Dates of Creation 1908-1910
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume consists of collected articles from issues of The Nation magazine, for which Archer wrote theatre reviews.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Occasional Articles, 1908-1924

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/11
Dates of Creation 1908-1924
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Index to World Articles

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/1/12
Dates of Creation 1889-1905
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume is an index for the three volumes of World articles (THM/368/1/1/5, 8 & 9).

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Press Cuttings

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/2
Dates of Creation Mar 1884-Nov 1920
Physical Description 11 volumes and 12 folders

Scope and Content

These volumes contain press cuttings of articles written or collected by William Archer from various national newspapers and periodicals. Many contain loose clippings and unless otherwise stated, all of them have an index.

Arrangement

This series is comprised of volumes and loose cuttings, and are arranged chronologically. Files numbered THM/368/1/2/1-11 are volumes, and files numbered THM/368/1/2/12 onwards are loose cuttings.

All titles given are those that appear on the volumes themselves, except in the case of THM/368/1/2/5, which was untitled.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the volumes in this series is restricted for conservation reasons.


Press articles from The World, Theatrical and Verses, Mar 1884-Dec1885

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/2/1
Dates of Creation Mar 1884-Dec 1885
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Articles from The World, The Pall Mall Gazette and The Manchester Guardian, 1885-1889

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/2/2
Dates of Creation 1885-1889
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Press Articles, Vol. 1, 1897-1902

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/2/3
Dates of Creation 1897-1902
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

This volume is part of a set (along with volumes numbered THM/368/1/2/6 and THM/368/1/2/8) presented to the British Drama League in 1949 by J. Archer.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Collected articles including Study and Stage, 1898-1908

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/2/4
Dates of Creation 1898-1908
Physical Description 1 volume

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.


Collected press articles, 1898-1914

Reference Number(s) GB 71 THM/368/1/2/5
Dates of Creation 1898-1914
Physical Description 1 volume

Scope and Content

Duplicate proofs collated in 1951 by J.Archer. Features an image of William Archer inside the front cover.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to this item is restricted for conservation reasons.