Royal Albert Hall interior, 1871 APAC Study Day: Theatrical Prints – Technology, Audience, and Resources

Curators, archivists and librarians working with the performing arts subject area inevitably find themselves managing collections comprising a wide range of materials, potentially including time-based media, books, manuscripts, photographs and a wealth of 3-d and 2-d objects. Within the area of 2-d printed objects there is considerable diversity, from the earliest printed playbills to posters, fine prints, music sheets, flyers and tickets. Identifying the method by which an object has been produced can only help the curator with its correct dating and description, storage and preservation.

This study day aims to provide an overview of the development of printing technology and how this has impacted on the printed materials we encounter in our performing arts collections.

The morning session will be presented by Martin Andrews, Deputy Director of the Centre for Ephemera Studies, University of Reading, using examples from Reading and from the V&A’s Theatre & Performance collections.


10.00–10.30: Registration and Coffee

10.30–12.30: An overview of printing techniques used in theatrical prints and ephemera, from wood blocks to photolithography – Martin Andrews, Deputy Director of the Centre for Ephemera Studies, University of Reading

12.30–13.30: Lunch – a light lunch will be provided.

13.30–13.50: Pieces of the jigsaw: insights into theatrical history through ephemera – Julia Anne Lambert, Curator, John Johnson Collection, Bodleian Library

13.50–14.10: From playbill to poster and programme – Cathy Haill, Curator of Popular Entertainment, V&A Theatre & Performance Department

14.10–14.30: Garrick and the print trade – Sheila O’Connelll, Curator of British Prints, British Museum

14.30–14.50: Performance painting and printing: complexity in the early dissemination of theatrical celebrity – Marcus Risdell, Curator, Garrick Club

14.50–15.10: The Jonathan King Collection of toy theatre, theatrical and tinsel prints at the Museum of London – Beverley Cook, Curator, Social & Working History, Museum of London

15.10–15.30: John Brandard and the development of the pictorial music title page – Keith Cavers, independent researcher

15.30–15.50: Tea

15.50–16.30: Problem object ‘surgery’ and round-up – Martin Andrews will give advice and comment on objects brought for identification by delegates.

16.30: Close

Book a Place

This study day is free to institutional and individual APAC members. To book a place, please e-mail co-chair Marcus Risdell (email: Institutional members may book a maximum of two places. Please do not take up places unless you are certain you or your staff can attend. If the event is oversubscribed, the Executive Committee is considering repeating the practical (morning) session later in the year.

Travel Bursaries

APAC is offering four travel bursaries of up to £100 each. If you cannot attend the event without financial support, please state that you are applying for a bursary at the time of booking and indicate what your travel costs are likely to be.

This event has been funded by Arts Council England as part of its support for Subject Specialist Networks.