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4th Floor - Prescott Memorial Library
Peggy Carter - Director
Tanya Arant - Library Spec. III
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Resources for British History and the History of Theater
The Louisiana Tech Department of Special Collections, Manuscripts, and Archives has been fortunate enough to acquire several new collections of microform documents that should prove useful to students and faculty alike. Anyone at Tech interested in researching British History will be gratified to learn that the British Parliamentary Papers collection is now available in Special Collections. Also, while the Special Collections floor is a frequent resource for both students and faculty of the History Department, one document collection recently acquired by the department should prove useful to British literature and drama students and their professors as well. The Three Centuries of English and American Plays is an extensive collection of every important English language play dating from 1561 to 1800 and American plays from 1714 to1830.
The list of plays was compiled by Allardyce Nicoll and George Freedley using several well-known bibliographies including Dr. Nicoll’s own book, History of English Drama 1660-1900, Bibliography of the English Printed Drama to the Restoration by Sir Walter W. Greg of Oxford University, Gertrude L. Woodward and James G. McManaway’s Checklist of English Plays, 1641-1700, and Frank Hill’s American Plays Printed: 1714-1830. The collection is housed twenty-three boxes containing 5,148 plays on 6,890 micro cards.
There are two segments in the British Parliamentary Papers collection. The first is The Journal of the House of Commons, which is an “enlarged account of the proceedings of the House of Commons, compiled from the minutes and papers in the possession of the Clerks of the House.” The Journal spans from 1547 to 1900, or from the Elizabethan to the Victorian Eras. It includes 155 volumes housed in 11 boxes of microprint cards, plus a microprint index.
The second part is the Hansard’s Debates collection. This is a daily record of everything said in Parliament. This compilation provides any researcher with valuable insights into the origins, writing, and historical context of Parliamentary legislation. In contrast to the Journal, the scope of the Hansard compilation is not so broad; it includes materials from 1803 to 1976. However, it does have much greater depth. While it covers only 173 years of Parliamentary History it includes 93 boxes of microprint documents. As a bonus, it begins with a special microprint copy of William Cobbett’s famous thirty-six volume Parliamentary History of England: 1066-1803.
All of the above resources should prove invaluable to anyone doing research on these subjects. The staff of the Special Collections Department hopes that their efforts at acquiring and cataloguing these collections will prove useful to many researchers in the years to come, and we cordially invite you to visit our floor.
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