Here at the Archives of the Hardiman Library we are spoiled with the richness of our theatre collections. As the raw materials for study and research of theatre and performance in Ireland as well as Irish theatre abroad, these collections preserve and make accessible the stories, people, places, decisions and great works which have graced theatres all over Ireland and internationally.
The Hardiman Library is a hub for theatre research through collections such as the Druid Theatre, Thomas Kilroy archives, Lyric theatre Belfast Archive, Siobhan McKenna archive, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and many others.
The Abbey Theatre Digital Archive is leading the way in technology and theatre archives as the largest theatre digitisation project in the world is underway on campus here at NUI Galway, preserving and making accessible the records of Ireland's National Theatre.
To celebrate World Theatre Day we have produced a short video using digitised material from our Shields Family Archive. Focused mainly on the Abbey theatre actor, director and stage manager, Arthur Shields, the collection is a wonderful insight into the life and career of Shields, who was a participant in the Easter Rising of 1916 in Dublin and had a long career on the Abbey stage, as well as overseeing the demanding Abbey tours to America in the 1930s. To view any of the images (and more) from the Shields archive you can view a stills exhibition here.
It is just one of our many theatre collections here at the Hardiman Library and we hope you enjoy the video and World Theatre Day!