Thursday, 18 August 2016

Gate Theatre Digital Archive now open for research at NUI Galway



The digital archive of the Gate Theatre, Dublin, is now accessible in the Archives Reading Room of the Hardiman Building. Comprising a wealth of material in a range of formats and media, the archive and documents of one of Ireland's leading theatres, from the late 1980s to present, is newly open to study and research.
Rosaleen lenihan as 'Mary Tyrone' in Eugene O'Neill's
'Long Day's Journey into Night', (1998)

The scale of the archive and its digitisation ensures it is a vast resource for the study and understanding of plays performed at the Gate but also of Irish theatrical, social and wider cultural history. Already available within the digital archive are over 10,000 photographs, 11,000 press files, 6,500 pages of programmes, over 2,000 pages of play scripts, 1,700 pages of annotated prompt-scripts, 600 lighting designs and wealth of other material such as posters and handbills. Audio-visual material, including video recordings of productions and audio files of sound scores and design, will also be made available over the course of the digitisation project over coming months.












Programme cover of Gate Theatre's Beckett Festival
The archive of the Gate Theatre comprises material mainly from the period 1980-present, during which the theatre has been managed by Michael Colgan. The Gate under Michael Colgan has distinguished itself internationally for its work with two Nobel Prize winners, Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. There is extensive correspondence with both writers, as well as huge detail about productions of their work. This will be of interest not only to Irish theatre scholars, but to people from further afield. There is also extensive archival material relating to other major writers, including David Mamet, Conor McPherson and Brian Friel. Indeed, Friel premiered seven plays at the Gate during the last 20 years of his life.

The Gate also has a long tradition of working with some of the world’s great actors; the archive features material relating to Orson Welles, Michael Gambon, John Hurt, Penelope Wilton, Stephen Rea, Ian Holm, Liam Neeson, Charles Dance, and many others.

By connecting the Gate material to existing archival material at Hardiman Library on the Abbey and Druid theatres, playwright Thomas Kilroy, actress Siobhan McKenna and numerous other collections, NUI Galway’s status as the leading international centre for the study of Irish theatre is further enhanced.

This video provides an overview of the archive and its content.

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