The Music Hall and Theatre History Site
Dedicated to Arthur Lloyd, 1839 - 1904.

Researching Your Own Theatrical Ancestors

Below are some useful links for your own Theatrical Family Ancestry Research

Probably the first place you should look nowadays is the British Newspaper Archive which has a vast collection of digitised British newspapers from 1800 up to 1950s, they also have the ERA and Stage archives which are a hugely useful resource for finding countless reviews, adverts, and dates for your theatrical ancestors performing around the UK. You do have to register and pay to view the archive but there are various different subscription models that should suit anyone, and it's a lot easier than trawling through microfiche or paper copies in the few libraries which hold the ERA and Stage archives in their original form.

Of course and is often the first port of call nowadays for people researching their ancestors.

The UK Census online Website is a great place to start searching the UK's Census information from the early 19th century.

The V&A have a useful page on their site with resources for all kinds of theatre research here.

And the UK National Archives have much Census information from 1841 to 1901 here.

The USGenWeb Archives site may be of help to those in the USA.

Unfortunately the Theatre Museum is now closed but the collection is still held at the Victoria & Albert Museum and may be of help to you in your research.

The Scottish Theatre Archive at Glasgow University continues to expand and can be searched and contacted here.

A new website is now online, created by Ted Loveday, with details and programme covers for some 13,500 productions in hundreds of Theatres throughout the UK and abroad. The database covers productions that the scenery builders Brunskill & Loveday LTD produced sets for, during the 20th century - A fantastic resource for anyone wanting to know which shows were in which Theatres and when.

Many local Libraries have information on local performers and Theatres, and Newspaper archives are hugely informative and useful, especially good are the Mitchell Library in Glasgow, The British Library Newsroom at St Pancras, Westminster Reference Library, The British Library itself, and The Times Archive.

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