Scope and Contents
The ADC Theatre Archive contains records from August 1973 onwards. These include some records of theatre administration, production management, and marketing literature but the collection is predominantly comprised of material relating to productions and performances, for example, applications to direct, flyers, posters, programmes, photographs and reviews.
Some records of productions and performances by CUADC prior to August 1973 can be found on Janus as part of the Amateur Dramatic Club Archive - reference: GBR/0012/MS Add.7675. The archive of the Cambridge Footlights Dramatic Club is also available on Janus - reference: GBR/0265/FOOT.
Camdram - the portal website for student theatre in Cambridge - maintains a database of shows dating back to 2004 and includes listings of cast and production team: Camdram
Conditions Governing Access
The University Archives are generally freely available to the holder of a reader's ticket for the Department of Archives and Modern Manuscripts, 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 (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
Conditions Governing Use
A significant proportion of the photographs in the ADC Theatre archives are still in copyright. Permission must be obtained to use copies of ADC Theatre material of all kinds in any kind of publication. Requests to publish photographic reproductions of any part of the ADC Theatre archives supplied directly by the Library's Digital Content Unit must be submitted via an online reproduction request form. Requests to publish text should be addressed to the Keeper of the University Archives, Cambridge University Library, West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DR. Information on imaging and licensing of the Library’s content is available here:
Permission to publish photographic reproductions and text must also be obtained from the copyright owner and/or the theatre company or group.
Biographical / Historical
The ADC Theatre is Britain's oldest University playhouse. Plays have been presented on the site since 1855 when the Cambridge University Amateur Dramatic Club (CUADC) was founded and the Club met and performed in the back room of the Hoop Inn on Jesus Lane. The coaching inn stood almost exactly where the ADC Theatre stands today. In the 1860s the CUADC leased additional rooms from the inn owner, William Ekin, a brewer and wine merchant, and in 1882, the CUADC bought the freehold to the property using a mortgage of £3,500. The building was subsequently developed into the ADC Theatre over an extended period of time. In 1933 a fire destroyed much of the building but the theatre was quickly rebuilt to a design by Harold Tomlinson and W.P. Dyson and reopened in 1935.
The theatre was run as a private members’ club by the CUADC but from 1960 onwards the Club experienced growing financial difficulties and by 1972 matters had reached a crisis: the Club could not raise the funds necessary to repair the fabric of the building and replace equipment. Following a University Enquiry into the financial state of the ADC Theatre, it was agreed for the theatre to be leased to the University of Cambridge for 75 years from 1 August 1973. The University employs full-time staff to run the theatre, has responsibility for its maintenance and for a defined range of recurrent expenditure including maintenance, rates, insurances, and cleaning. Thus, although the theatre is owned by the CUADC it is currently run as the smallest department of the University. It continues to be a producing theatre with the CUADC as one of its resident companies, the others being Cambridge Footlights and Cambridge University Musical Theatre Society.
A history of the theatre is available online as part of its website http://www.adctheatre.com.
25 linear metre(s) (25 metres) : paper, photographs, cd, audio & video tape
Language of Materials