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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Thr 5-5.8

Richard Brinsley Sheridan additional papers


Autograph manuscripts, correspondence, legal documents, and other papers associated with playwright, politician, and theater proprietor, Richard Brinsley Sheridan.


  • Creation: 1753-1868

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to the finding aid describing this collection are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


2 linear feet (1 box and 9 volumes)

Includes manuscript copies of: August von Kotzebue's Pizarro. The Spaniards in Peru; or, The death of Rolla. A tragedy in five acts ... English translation (1799) with annotations by Sheridan; School for scandal prompt books from Drury Lane Theatre (1777-1779); School for scandal manuscript copy (17--) from Theatre, Smoke Alley, Dublin; School for scandal manuscript copy from Drury Lane Theatre (ca. 1809); School for scandal manuscript copy (before 1785); Sheridan's 1771 autograph manuscript of poem, Clio's protest; Beggar's Opera alterations by Sheridan and William Hopkins; and many other materials.

Two bound volumes include voluminous numbers of documents, prints, and letters by, sent to, and between third parties concerning Sheridan. Volume I mostly concerns his theatrical career, while Volume II is primarily letters written to Sheridan in his capacity as a member of the House of Commons, requesting some favor or service. Includes: portrait engravings; financial records (contracts, bills, receipts); legal documents; theater related compositons, watercolor drawings, and printed broadsides; petitions to the government; House of Commons speeches; some Sheridan family materials (Charles Francis Sheridan (1750-1806), Thomas Sheridan (1775-1817), and others); items concerning the King's Theatre and the Drury Lane Theatre; and many others.

Biographical / Historical

Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) was a playwright, theatre proprietor, and politician. He was born in Dublin, Ireland and later moved to London. He became the manager and part-owner of the Drury Lane Theatre in 1776. He wrote several plays, including the comedies The Rivals (1775) and The School for Scandal (1780). He also served as a Minister of Parliament from 1780 to 1812.


Arranged in call-number order:

  1. fMS Thr 5: Kotzebue, August von, 1761-1819. Pizarro. The Spaniards in Peru; or, The death of Rolla. A tragedy in five acts ... : manuscript translation
  2. MS Thr 5.1: The school for scandal : manuscript prompt books
  3. MS Thr 5.2: The school for scandal, A comedy; as it is acted at the Theatre, Smoke Alley, Dublin : manuscript
  4. MS Thr 5.3: The school for scandal comedy: in five acts. Copied from the Prompter's Book, of the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, which was preserved from the late fire : manuscript
  5. MS Thr 5.4: The school for scandal : manuscript
  6. MS Thr 5.5: The rivals, a comedy : manuscript
  7. fMS Thr 5.6: Clio's protest : autograph manuscript
  8. pfMS Thr 5.7: Sheridan papers, bound in two volumes
  9. fMS Thr 5.8: Alterations of the scenes between beggar & player in Beggar's opera ... : autograph manuscript

Physical Location

MS, f, pf

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from various sources at various times. See each item for acquisition information.

Related Materials

fMS Thr 5.9 is cataloged as a single item, see HOLLIS 009252419.

See HOLLIS and OASIS for additional Sheridan material owned by the Houghton Library, but cataloged under separate call-numbers.

Processing Information

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 1751-1816. Richard Brinsley Sheridan additional papers, 1753-1868: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
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Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

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