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Photograph album relating to the Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Thomas Hardy's The Dynasts

 Single Item
MS. 20016 Photogr. 1
Held in our offsite storage facility

  • Request

The photograph album was presented by the Oxford University Dramatic Society to A.E. Drinkwater in appreciation of his production of Thomas Hardy's The Dynasts, which was performed 10-14 February 1920 (a full dress rehearsal took place on 9 February). The album contains 29 black and white photographs including photographs of various stage scenes, two full cast photographs (one of the closing scene of the dress rehearsal and one of the cast outside the theatre) and a photograph of the formal dinner held on 14 February after the final performance. The photographs of the various stage scenes have printed captions of the scene numbers and titles pasted above or below (cut out from a copy of the printed programme), and the actors are identified with signatures or pencil annotations. The album has part of the original programme stitched between rear blanks and also contains [loose, in folder]: the copy of the programme from which the above scene numbers and titles were cut out; a printed postcard advertising the play; and a copy of the printed menu, tied with ribbon, for the OUDS dinner following the last performance, 14 February 1920. The album is gilt-ruled half morocco and has a small printed label of the photographic firm, Hills and Saunders, Oxford on the inside front cover.

The Dynasts was the first play by a living author to be staged by the OUDS having first been produced six years earlier by Harley Granville-Barker, who had originally adapted it for production at the Kingsway Theatre, London, with A.E. Drinkwater as stage manager. The stage manager for the OUDS production was the novelist and journalist Charles Morgan (1894-1958). Thomas Hardy and his wife Florence attended a performance (Hardy, then aged 80, collected his Honorary D.Litt. from the University of Oxford during his visit).


  • Creation: Feb 1920


1 volume

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MS. 20016 Photogr. 1].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.


MS. 20016 Photogr. 1

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 20016


Photograph album relating to the Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Thomas Hardy's The Dynasts, Feb 1920.

Biographical / Historical

Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS) was formed in 1885 and is a still extant student society producing and supporting student theatre and drama on a university-wide basis.

Albert Edwin Drinkwater (1852–1923) was a schoolmaster who left the profession in 1896 to become an actor. He married Annie Beck, née Brown (d.1891). The poet and playwright John Drinkwater (1882–1937) was their son.

Custodial History

The album was originally presented to Albert Edwin Drinkwater (1852–1923). Ownership passed to his son, the poet and playwright John Drinkwater (1882–1937), whose bookplate is on the front endpaper.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased by the Bodleian Library with the support of the Roy Davids fund from Paul Rassam, December 2020.

Related Materials

Bodleian Libraries

  1. MS. Photogr. c. 4, fols. 62-64 - Photographs of Oxford University Dramatic Society’s production of Thomas Hardy's The Dynasts, Hilary Term [10-14 Feb] 1920, with E. Aubrey Blackburn of Corpus Christ College as the ‘Old Man’ (fol. 62) and G.W. Sich of Magdalen College as the Duke of Wellington (fol. 63).
  2. Papers Relating to Oxford Student Drama, 1896-2006.


  • Humphrey Carpenter, OUDS: a centenary history of the Oxford University Dramatic Society, 1885-1985 (Oxford University Press, 1985).
Catalogue of photograph album relating to the Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Thomas Hardy's , February 1920
Finding aid prepared by Rachael Marsay
Language of description
Script of description
Catalogued with the generous support of the Roy Davids bequest

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom