The Theatre Royal collection contains a significant collection of eighteenth and nineteenth century playbills, numbering over 1,700. About one third of the playbills (originally catalogued as 8982, 9307, 9313 [part], 9727, 17558, 29464) were deposited by the Trustees of the Theatre Royal and, from their inventories (TR/Adm/2/8), it is clear that these were assembled from donations from members of the public and organisations. Roughly another third were transferred to Bristol Archives from Bristol Central Library (originally catalogued as 45883/13). Approximately 700 playbills were transferred to Bristol Archives from Somerset Archives, having been originally bound in one volume (38439/1).
The playbills are arranged chronologically in one series in this catalogue, the Alt Ref No field however indicates the provenance of each. At present only the first half of the collection of playbills (up to 1840) are given here at item level; the second half will be added over the course of the project.
Comprehensive set of playbills, from opening night until 1840, in Richard Smith volumes, ref. 45883/7-11
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