Adam Matthew's Shakespeare collaboration

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Adam Matthew and London's Shakespeare’s Globe are to collaborate on a digital project: Shakespeare’s Globe: Performances and Practices. Included in the agreement are the majority of Shakespeare’s Globe’s archives, preserved since its opening in 1997.

The collection, which will include material for the study of Shakespeare, literature, theatre and performance, will launch in the spring of 2019, in time for the 100th anniversary of the birth of the theatre's founder, American film director and actor Sam Wanamaker, in 1919.

He fought for 23 years to reconstruct the Globe Theatre, not living to witness its opening in 1997 after much scholarly research had been done so it could be built as closely as possible to the original 1599 version.

Shakespeare’s Globe has kept a detailed archive that not only documents every performance, but also incorporates the designs and plans for the reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, as well as material relating to early music, theatre history, historical dress, props and the Globe’s performance history, including:

    Prompt books, containing key staging information from directors, actors and backstage crew;
    Wardrobe bibles, including photographs, sketches and preliminary costume ideas;
    Music files, showing musical stage direction and content for productions;
    Audience reports, including weather details, how well the play was received and numbers of 'fainters';
    Performance programs;
    Event folders from throughout Shakespeare’s Globe's history;
    Photographs covering productions, events, and the theatres; and
    Architectural research notes and drawings, for the new indoor and outdoor theatres.

'This project has come at a perfect time in not only the Globe’s life but also in the life of academic research, which is increasingly preoccupied with performance history and practice,' commented Farah Karim-Cooper, Globe Education’s head of higher education and research. 'We couldn’t be more thrilled that Adam Matthew will make it possible for scholars and students around the world to engage directly with the material history of Shakespeare’s Globe.

'Education is at the heart of Shakespeare’s Globe,' added Khal Rudin, managing director of Adam Matthew. 'We’re very excited to have been chosen to digitise their vitally important archive, providing the global academic community with the opportunity to access it online.'