Victoria and Albert Museum: Theatre Collections

Small Archives Collection, ca. 1875-2006

Introduction and summary description

Reference: THM/323
Extent: 9 files

Scope and content

This collection consists of small deposits of archival material received from various sources, and placed together into one collection in order to facilitate collection management.


The archive has been divided into series, each series being a separate deposit of material.


General information on access to material in the Theatre Collections is available on the research pages of the Theatre Collections Online website.

Restrictions on access

Restrictions on use

Copying of the collections may be permitted for the purposes of private study or research of a non-commercial nature, subject to certain conditions. For reasons of conservation, only printed and photographic material post-1920 may be photocopied. Material that cannot be photocopied is usually suitable for photography, either using your own equiptment or via V&A Images (

Related Material

Archive and manuscript sources

See also Theatre Museum Core Collections: material relating to these collections may be found in several collections, including Theatre Museum production files, company files, theatre buildings files, biographical files for related persons, and photographs. Please ask for details.

Detailed catalogue

Letters and ephemera relating to E. H. Sothern and his plays, 1883
Extent: 1 file
Reference Description Dates
THM/323/1 Letters and ephemera relating to E. H. Sothern and the plays David Garrick; Gertie's Garter by E.H. Sothern; and Lord Dundready, Married and Settled by H.J. Byron and E.H. Sothern Theatre Royal Newcastle, 12 and 13 April 1883
4 items
Contains the following documents:
Theatre programme the Newcastle Theatre Royal, Thursday and Friday, 12th and 13th April 1883, for David Garrick, and Gertie's Garter.
1 item, ref: THM/323/1/1
1883 April 12-13
Scope and content: The cast of David Garrick : Lytton Southern. W. Hargreaves, E.H. Sothern, A.M. Dennison, J.C. Rasper, C. Wybrow and H.C. Spillar, S. Pennett & Ages Hewett, Mary Smith & Maggie HuntIn Gertie's Garter : E.H. Sothern, A.M. Denison, A. Owen, Annie White, A.M Smith, Maggie Hunt and Ellie Strathmore.'To conclude on Friday evening with Dundreary Married and Settled', with Lytton Sothern, John Owen Francis Harcourt J.C. Rasper , AM Denison EK Sothern Wharcourt C Wybrow Agnes Hewitt Mary Smith'
Autograph letter from E.H. Sothern to 'Eddy', enclosing a newspaper cutting which included a note about his play Gertie's Garter, and saying that he was afraid he would have 'bricks thrown at me.'. Also mentioning interest which he asked Eddy to pay on a pawn ticket.
1 item, ref: THM/323/1/2
1883 April 15
Newspaper review of Gertie's Garter from the Tyneside Echo, Newcastle
1 item, ref: THM/323/1/3
1883 April 13
Autograph letter from Maggie Morton, from the Public Hall, Ardrossan, (Ayrshire)
1 item, ref: THM/323/1/4
1883 April 17
Scope and content: Letter is in ink on illustrated headed notepaper printed in sepia ink : 'La Comedie Anglaise Company' 'From Land's End to John O'Groats' '5th year of uninterrupted tour' 'Grand Pantomime Robinson Crusoe', 'Miss MORTON presents her compliments to her Patrons in the North of Scotland, where she is now so well known, and trusts that on this her third visit every help and information will be forwarded for this her greatest undertaking' and 'Terms - Cash. No discount asked. Billposters and Tradespeople please quote lowest prices as MISS MORTON is at enormous expense.'Content of letter : 'I received no letter from you on the 12th but I now reply to yours of the 16th to hand. I never played nor permitted to be played the plays you mentioned. You evidently read my advertisement wrongly. Mr W.L Dobell appears as Lord Dundreary in original character in an original play of which I have the sole rights and in which I enclose a bill. He will also appear as David Garrick in Garrick. You had better write to a Mr Muskerry or Daly of the Society for Dramatic Authors as I am on their books and have their permission to play their pieces. Therefore I warn you not to molest me.'

Replies to fan letters, signed photographs, postcards and ephemera relating to 20th century actors , 1927-1939
Extent: 2 files
Includes material relating to John Gielgud, Flora Robson, Rex Harrison and Yvonne Arnaud
Reference Description Dates
THM/323/2 Replies to fan letters and ephemera relating to 20th century actors
1 file
THM/323/3 Signed photographs and postcards relating to 20th century actors
1 file

Photographs of puppets, toy theatres and other artefacts owned by George Speaight (1914-2005), 2006
Extent: 1 file
Reference Description Dates
THM/323/4 Photographs of puppets, toy theatres and other artefacts owned by George Speaight (1914-2005); taken by Norbert Neumann following George Speaight's funeral, 9 January 2006.
1 file containing digital prints and 2 CD-ROMS of TIF images files
2006 Jan 9

Manuscript notes and lists compiled by the comedian and character actor William Cuthbert (William Edwin Luker), [ca. 1875]-1916
Extent: 4 files
Reference Description Dates
THM/323/5 Autograph manuscript list of parts played by William Cuthbert during his career from 1874 to 1916.
1 file, 1 item
THM/323/6 Manuscript notes and script from effects belonging to William Cuthbert.
1 file
THM/323/7 Manuscript list of engagements ofWilliam Cuthbert during his career from 1874 to 1909.
1 file
THM/323/8 Manuscript envelopes from effects belonging to William Cuthbert.
1 file

Papers relating to the will and estate of Gertrude Norman, 1961-1964
Extent: 1 file
Gertrude "Toto" Norman was born in ca.1880. Her career as an actress included working with Mrs Fiske in New York and with Sir Henry Irving's company in Britain. She was also companion to the American opera singer Marcia van Dresser, and had an extremely wide network of theatre acquaintances. She also undertook cahriatable work for the Musicians' Benevolent Fund. She died in London in 1961.
Reference Description Dates
THM/323/9 Papers relating to the will and estate of Gertrude Norman
1 file

Papers relating to the career of Mary Barclay, 1961-1964
Extent: 1 file
Mary Barclay was born Mary Biddulph in Somerset in 1917. After graduating from Girton College, Cambridge, she trained as a musician and then studied acting at Guildhall
Reference Description Dates
THM/323/10 Cuttings, photographs, certificates and typescript biographical notes relating to the career of Mary Barclay.
1 file
Includes nine pages of typescript memoirs with manuscript annotations entitled "My life in acting".