Closing the Curtains on 2016!

As we Close the Curtains on 2016  we look back at what a busy year it was for the Scottish Theatre Archive, (STA) with drop-in sessions, classes, visits and the odd party or two!

So let’s have a look at some of our highlights.

Nobody could fail to notice that 2016 was the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Commemorated UK wide by a series of events and celebrations, the Library supported the University’s contribution, Dream On!. Inspired by themes in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dream On! was a unique collaboration production between the University of Glasgow’s dramaturgy students and students from the Royal Conservatoire and Glasgow School of Art, with the music on the evening performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

To celebrate we held a ‘birthday party’ in Special Collections, featuring a whole range of Shakespeariana including a plethora of playbills, production files, and photographs from the STA.  A Flickr set of images is available for you to explore further. We also have some free postcards available from level 12!

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As part of the Shakespeare Live events staged throughout the UK, the University’s Bute Hall and cloisters took centre stage for the elaborate theatrical production and this presented us with a fabulous opportunity for us to display our important copy of the First Folio.


2016 was also the year the National Theatre of Scotland celebrated its 10th anniversary.  From its first performances in February 2006, the Company has rapidly established a growing reputation for exhilarating work across all scales and types of venue including site specific. Good luck in your new headquarters – Rockvilla

10ntsThe archive of the National Theatre of Scotland is housed in the STA and in January of 2016 we were delighted to welcome members of the company to view not only their own material but also to see some of the gems of the STA.

Thank you so so so so so SO much for yesterday’s visit. As you could see, we were all completely enthralled by the Archive and could have – nearly did! – easily spent the entire day in there. What a fantastic and important collection and what amazing work you are doing on it. Congratulations.

Roberta Doyle, Director of External Affair, National Theatre of Scotland

This year we also welcomed Fiona and Howard Brodie from the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre, accompanied by Dr Mia Spiro, (Lecturer in Jewish Studies, University of Glasgow) and Dr Deborah Butcher (Research Associate ‘Jewish Lives, Scottish Spaces’). The group was joined by Dr Paul Maloney, Honorary Research Fellow (University of Glasgow and Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast). Our visitors enjoyed the opportunity to view a  display of items from the collection of the  Glasgow Jewish Institute Players

visit-jewishFrom Left: Fiona Brodie, Paul Maloney, Howard Brodie, Mia Spiro and Deborah Butcher.


Work continued on cataloguing with Peter Morphew working on the papers of Adrian Howells. An Arts and Humanities Research Council fellow at the University of Glasgow between 2006 and 2009, Howells was also a much-loved teacher and mentor. Many of Howells’s performances took the form of one-to-one encounters in which he would offer to wash an audience member’s feet or maybe their underwear while gently encouraging them to open up and talk. The collection includes brochures, flyers, leaflets, personal DVD collections, photographs, press packs, production files and programmes for numerous productions. More information on the collection is available via our blog pages

2017 is shaping up to be just as busy with more catalogouing projects and a forthcoming STA display on level 12. There are more anniversaries to celebrate including the 70th anniversary of the Edinburgh Fringe and the 30th anniversary tour of The Steamie.

Keep up to date with all our news and events on our blog page




Categories: Archives and Special Collections

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