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Papers of William Poel

Call Number: MS 31


Correspondence (mostly incoming, some outgoing), producer's archives, authorial archives, and printed ephemera from English actor, theatre manager, and producer William Poel (1852-1934). Mrs Poel ("E.C.P") and Savage seem to have annotated the material; some items had been annotated by Poel prior to his death.


  • Creation: approximately 1895-1934


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of William Poel

William Poel was born William Pole in London, England in 1852. As a child he posed for pre-Raphaelite artist William Holman Hunt and as an adult had a long career in the theatre. In 1894 he founded the Elizabethan Stage Society, which held performances with minimal scenery and amateur casts in an attempt to approximate more closely what Shakespearean theatre would have been like. Poel's stagings of Shakespeare's plays greatly influenced Shakespearean productions throughout much of the 20th century. Poel also helped revive interest in other Elizabethan playwrights, including Christopher Marlowe and Ben Jonson.


3.5 Linear Feet (8 document cases)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS 31

Physical Location


Other Finding Aids

See the attached for a detailed list by lettered section (A,B, etc) and item:

Immediate Source of Acquisition

O.D. Savage (as Mrs Poel's executor), London, April 13, 1957.

Guide to the William Poel Collection
Papers of William Poel
Finding aid prepared 1990. Finding aid encoded by skt, 2005.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in <language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Papers of William Poel, Department of Special Collections, MS 31, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States