Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Friday, 4 March 2011

Early Modern London Theatres

New! Free online database

(international AHRC research project) Right now, the EMLoT database includes records pertaining to the Eight Theatres north of the Thames:

  • the Red Lion (1567)
  • the Theatre (1576)
  • the Curtain (1577)
  • the Fortune (1600)
  • the Red Bull (1604)
  • the Boar's Head (1602)
  • the Phoenix or Cockpit (1616)
  • Salisbury Court (1629)

(The next version of the database will incorporate the Bankside theatres in the historic county of Surrey.) Visit the website to explore it for yourself!


(This introduction is quoted from the EMLoT database homepage.)

Early Modern London Theatres (EMLoT) is a research database and educational resource that grew out of a collaboration between the Records of Early English Drama (REED) at the University of Toronto, the Centre for Computing in the Humanities (CCH) at King's College London, and the Department of English at the University of Southampton, and developed from an editorial project at REED.

EMLoT lets you see what direct use has been made, over the last four centuries, of pre-1642 documents related to professional performance in purpose-built theatres and other permanent structures in the London area. It is not a comprehensive collection of those pre-1642 documents; rather, it charts the copies (or ‘transcriptions’) which were subsequently made of them. It thus gives you access to the varied and long ‘after-life’ of those documents. It tells you who used them, and when, and where you can find evidence of that use. It also gives you some access to what was used, because it includes a brief account (or ‘abstract’) of the transcription’s contents, together with a reference to the location of the original document.

This database does not include play texts, and if your main interest is in the pre-1642 evidence for actual performances, ceremonies, and the playing of secular music in London, you should go first to the London, Middlesex and Surrey collections of the REED series. They are currently being edited — Ecclesiastical London (2008) and the Inns of Court (2010) are published — and, when they are completed, will be made available in hard copy and online, ultimately being linked to this site.

By way of an experiment, Whittaker tried entering a few random terms. This one appealed:-

The Shoole of Abuse, Conteining a plesaunt invective against Poets, Pipers, Plaiers, Jesters, and such like Caterpillers of a Comonwelth; Setting up the Flagge of Defiance to their mischievuous exercise, ...

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