Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project

Grace Ioppolo writes:

Dear Colleagues:

You may be aware that the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project,, was launched in November 2009, making
available online at no cost the most
important single archive of manuscripts on 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.

This electronic archive and website has just been updated to offer easier
to high-quality digital images of over 2000 manuscript pages at Dulwich College
of Philip Henslowe and the great actor Edward Alleyn, including:

--every page of Henslowe's world-famous 'Diary', recording box-office receipts
and payments to dramatists, actors, censors, costumers and theatre personnel
--every page of Alleyn's 1616-1622 Diary, itemising every daily expense for
goods, materials, labour, travel, legal matters, food and drink
--The contract to build the Fortune playhouse and the deed of partnership to
build the Rose playhouse
--The only surviving actor's 'part' or script of the age of Shakespeare
--One of only five extant backstage 'plots' of the age
--A complete manuscript text of the play The Telltale showing the typical
and style of dramatic manuscripts of the age
--Ben Jonson's autograph manuscript of two poems
--Alleyn's draft letter to his father-in-law John Donne
--hundreds of pages of deeds, letters patent, leases, receipts, and bills, as
well as correspondence among Henslowe, Alleyn and political and religious

Also included are succinct essays by leading scholars on fifteen of the most
important documents. For example, Prof. Susan Cerasano and Julian Bowsher,
senior archaeologist at the Museum of London, discuss how the excavations at
the Rose playhouse site in London have changed our views of early modern

We hope to add transcripts of documents and a searchable index soon. We believe
that, even at this stage, this project will be of interest not only to
specialist scholars but to all those interested in early modern English drama
and theatre history, as well as in social, economic, regional, architectural
and legal history, palaeography and manuscript studies.

We would be delighted if you would help us call attention to our website and
archive. We would, of course, also be grateful if you were interested in adding
a link from your site to ours:
or if you could forward this email to anyone else who would find it of

Thank you,
Grace Ioppolo
Director, Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project


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