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Records of the Marlowe Dramatic Society, 1907 - 1954

Reference Code: GBR/0265/UA/SOC.78

Scope and Contents

From the Management Group:

The category - Student administration and support records - comprises records relating to student admissions at all levels, graduate students, visiting senior scholars, student careers advice and welfare, together with the records of clubs and societies.


  • Creation: 1907 - 1954


Conditions Governing Access

From the Management Group:

The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Restrictions on access are imposed on certain categories of sensitive record: financial, governmental and personal, by order of the originating body or under data protection legislation. Access information, including opening hours and how to obtain a reader's ticket, appears as part of the Library's web site (

Biographical / Historical

The club was founded on 13 February 1908 by a group consisting of Justin Brooke (Emmanuel College) , Francis Macdonald Cornford (Trinity College), Andrew Sydenham Farrar Gow (Trinity College) and Jane Ellen Harrison (Newnham College, Lecturer in Classical Archaeology) who had produced Christopher Marlowe's ''Doctor Faustus'' in 1907. The Society existed to produce Renaissance plays, particularly those in verse, or those which were little performed. It organised the first performances of Shakespeare in the city since 1886, and produced plays by, among others, Christopher Marlowe, John Webster and Ben Jonson. From its inception, the society placed a strong emphasis on the importance of the skill of verse-speaking. An early set of rules also indicates it was self-selecting and limited in number to 50 members. These rules stipulated that names of performers were not to be included on the play programmes (although they were to be recorded in the club minutes), nor were curtain calls to be permitted. For members not acting in the annual production there were play readings to attend. Notable members have included Rupert Chawner Brooke (second president), Geoffrey Langdon Keynes, George Humphrey Wolferstan Rylands, Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton, Ian McKellan, Derek Jacobi, Trevor Nunn and Griff Rhys Jones. From at least 2007 the society has been known as simply ''The Marlowe''. Further information about its activities is on its website at


5 volume(s) : paper, photographs

2 file(s)

Language of Materials


Former / Other Reference


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records were transferred to the University Archives from the Manuscripts Department on 12 November 2007. They had been deposited by G.H.W. Rylands, King's College, Cambridge with the Manuscripts Department on 15 May 1975 and had been give the classmark Ms.Add.8089.

Related Materials

Further archives are held by the senior treasurer to the society, Tim Cribb of Churchill College. There are additional printed records in the Rare Books Department, Cambridge University Library (classmark: Cambridge Papers J 5580). See also the correspondence and papers of Andrew Sydenham Farrar Gow, founder member of the club, in the Manuscripts Department at classmark Ms.Add.8264.II. A 1948 programme file on the Job ballet is to be found in Ms.Add.8633.30. A typescript entitled ''Early History of the Marlowe Dramatic Society'' by J. Brooke and A.S.F. Gow is at Ms.Add.2717.8.


The online catalogue entry was completed in December 2007.


Marlowe Dramatic Society

Finding aid date

2007-11-08 10:53:08+00:00

Includes index.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
West Road
Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom