The Archive at Dulwich College contains rare printed books and diverse collections of manuscripts. The most important are probably the Henslowe and Alleyn papers relating to the Elizabethan and Stuart theatres. Philip Henslowe was Edward Alleyn’s father-in-law, together they ran the Fortune, Rose and Hope Theatres and the Bear Gardens and the Paris Gardens (also for bear baiting). They employed Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson to write plays for the Admiral’s Men, the playing company in which they were shareholders. All their business and family papers passed to the College on Edward Alleyn’s death in 1626 and have been preserved by the College ever since. They are a unique collection unrivalled anywhere else in the world.

In 2006 the Henslowe Alleyn Digitisation Project lead by Professor Grace Ioppolo from the Department of English and American Literature at the University of Reading and various academic institutions, including Dulwich College, undertook the digitization of some of the manuscripts relating to the theatres. This was made possible by generous grants from various funding bodies including: The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy, The Thriplow Charitable Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, the Henry E. Huntington Library, the Folger Shakepeare Library and  the British and American Bibliographical Societies. The photography was undertaken by Dr  David Cooper onsite and the resulting digital images have been available via the Henslowe-Alleyn Website hosted by Kings College, London University, since 2009.

For digital photographs or reproductions of any of the manuscripts, and for permission to reproduce them in any format, please contact Mrs Calista Lucy, Keeper of the Archive, Dulwich College, Dulwich Common, London SE21 7LD, UK; Email:


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Dulwich College has graciously contributed images from their collections to Shakespeare Documented, and retains sole ownership of said images. Visitors may link to and cite the images within Shakespeare Documented in personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the images is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact Dulwich College to request additional use, at:

Documents contributed by Dulwich College

1592- 1594
The entrepreneur Philip Henslowe’s unique “Diary,” or account book, of his extensive theatrical enterprises records the titles of over 325 plays from 1592 to 1604, including two, perhaps three, plays written in part or whole by Shakespeare: Henry VI Part
June 19, 1609
Edward Alleyn (1566-1626), the famous Elizabethan actor and wealthy Jacobean gentleman, purchased a copy of Shake-speares Sonnets, published in 1609, recording his acquisition under “Howshowld stuff”: