Le verbe d'eau
Eugène Scribe, 'Le verre d’eau' (1840)

The libraries contain a wealth of material on theatre and performance. In addition to extensive holdings of theatre in research collections, Senate House Library special collections include:

  • 19th- and early 20th-century French theatre: 45 volumes of the Théâtre Contemporain Illustré series, numerous popular editions of contemporary plays, and an extensive collection of boxed newspaper cuttings and other printed material relating to François de Curel
  • Volumes of French theatre published anonymously by the Dutch Elzevier press in the 17th and 18th centuries
  • Golden Age Spanish theatre in the Eliot-Phelips Collection, particularly editions of Lope de Vega and Pedro Calderón de la Barca (around 40 in total)
  • Thirty late 19th- and early 20th-century French and Italian editions of theatre and related works in the Malcolm Morley Collection
  • Printed vocal scores from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries

The library of the Latin American Studies Collection houses the Cuban drama collection, as well extensive collections of edited volumes of Latin American and Caribbean theatre. The Warburg Institute collections include opera libretti, as well as a general reference section on the history of theatre by area (classmark DE).

A guide is also available for Senate House Library's archival holdings relating to theatre (the majority of this material is in English).