The Scope of the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project

The Project has digitised over 2200 pages of manuscripts in the Henslowe-Alleyn Papers that discuss or concern theatrical matters, inlcuding:

  • MS No. 1: Henslowe' s and Alleyn’s Letters and Papers on English Drama and Stage and the Fortune Theatre, 1559-1662 (all documents).
  • MS No. 2: Henslowe’s and Alleyn’s Letters and Papers as Joint Masters of the Royal Game of Bears, Bulls and Mastiff Dogs, 1598-1626 (all documents).
  • MS No. 3: Henslowe's and Alleyn's General Correspondence, 1577-1626 (all documents).
  • MS No. 5: Legal and Miscellaneous Papers of Edward Alleyn and his Family, 1612-1626 (relevant documents).
  • MS No. 7: Henslowe’s Diary and Account-Book, 1592-1609 (all pages).
  • MS No. 8: Alleyn’s Memorandum Book, 1594-1616 (all pages).
  • MS No. 9: Alleyn’s Diary and Account-Book, 1617-1622 (all pages).
  • MS No. 19: The ‘Plot’ (prompter’s outline) of the play The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins.
  • MS No. 20: The text of the play The Telltale (all).
  • Muniments, Section 1: The Theatre and Bear Garden documents, 1546-1662 (all documents).
  • Muniments, Section 3: Dulwich College Documents, 1323-1626 (relevant documents).

Each page of these manuscripts (about 2200 pages in total) has been photographed in high resolution and is viewable in full using the tool ‘Zoomify’, with the capacity for zooming in and out. For ease of use, this electronic archive follows the cataloguing system of George Warner and Francis Bickley, as published in The Catalogue of the Manuscripts and Muniments of Alleyn’s College of God’s Gift at Dulwich, series 1 and 2 (1881, 1903).

Included at this preliminary stage of the website are digital essays on some of the most notable documents, including the contracts for the Rose and Fortune playhouses, Alleyn’s ‘part’ for the leading role in Thomas Greene’s play Orlando Furioso, the ‘Plot’ of The Second Part of the Seven Deadly Sins, representative pages from Henslowe’s 'Diary' and Alleyn’s 'Diary' and from their correspondence with dramatists and actors, as well as the manuscript of The Telltale and Ben Jonson’s autograph fair copies of two poems. Also included is the Foundation Deed for Dulwich College, which carries the signature of Francis Bacon and Inigo Jones, among others. These digital essays offer expert commentary on the manuscripts’ contents and contexts.