- 1985 - (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
1.48 m of textual records and other material
Name of creator
A Trinity College Dramatic Club was formed in 1892 at the University of Trinity College (Toronto, Ontario), apparently under the auspices of Lally McCarthy (a Trinity College graduate of the same year). The Dramatic Club produced plays in Toronto and toured Guelph, Woodstock, Brantford, and Hamilton in 1894, ultimately bankrupting itself later that year.
The Trinity College Dramatic Society (TCDS) is known to have existed as early as 1919, with annual productions beginning in 1921. Little is currently known about dramatic activities at the University of Trinity College during the years between the insolvency of the Dramatic Club in 1894 and the emergence of the TCDS, but a few records exist – and are described within this collection – testifying to the existence of dramatic activities, however casual, during those years.
In 1921 the operation of the Hart House Theatre at the University of Toronto was transferred from The Player’s Club to the Board of Syndics. Trinity College had federated with the University of Toronto seven years earlier and sought to obtain the Hart House Theatre, under its new management, as the venue for its annual productions. Since the opening of the George Ignatieff Theatre (GIT) in 1979, it has formed the main venue for the TCDS’ productions. However, plays have also been held in Cartwright Hall (at Saint Hilda’s College), the quadrangle, Seeley Hall, and the chapel.
Over the years, the TCDS’ activities have increased. At first, one play was produced per year. Later, two or three additional short or student-authored plays were also produced per year. Nowadays several major productions are mounted every school year, as well as special events such as an orientation (or frosh) week play and “Shakespeare in the Quad.” The TCDS arranges the College’s contributions to various intra- or inter-university drama festivals and organizes events such as play readings, workshops, screenings, revues, and parties. Every year, the TCDS celebrates students’ involvement in dramatic endeavours with the “Iggies” (short for “Ignatieff”), an award ceremony in the style of the Academy Awards, where students are presented with “Iggy Awards.”
All students of Trinity College are automatically members of the TCDS and events are mainly student-run. An elected executive handles the administration of the TCDS.
Records which now comprise this collection were previously a myriad of small accessions received from almost as many sources, including students, alumni, faculty, and staff. In some cases the donor of the material is unknown. However, in many instances not only is the donor known, these donors were involved in the production to which the records they donated pertained. These donors were directors, stage managers, make-up designers, set designers, lighting designers, actors, TCDS Executive members, theatre managers, and so on. The multitude of tiny accessions were not conducive to access or the astute management of the records over time, and often were of less significance by themselves than in relation to other TCDS records (that is, they did not already form parts of meaningful fonds) so this collection was created.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
As described in the “acquisition history” note above, this collection has been created from many sources. It would be impossible to determine all of the donors who contributed material that is now in this collection, but a fairly comprehensive list has been established and is given in the “Provenance access points” field.
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This collection consists of scrapbooks, administrative records, and records of productions and events. Records of productions and events comprise the bulk of this collection and include programs, posters, scripts, newspaper clippings, sound recordings, photographs, and more.
- Administrative Records
- Productions and Events
- Special Productions
- Non-TCDS Records
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
Further accruals are expected.
System of arrangement
Arrangement of most series and files was imposed by the archivist. In many cases, original order had been lost or was indiscernible. Within some files, original order has been preserved, as in the case of most administrative records. Scrapbooks are also in their original arrangement. As a consequence of the rearrangement of materials, all file titles were supplied by the archivist. Square brackets, i.e. [ ], were only used when information on the file title was guessed or determined from outside sources, in addition to other notations (such as question marks) in accordance with Rules for Archival Description.
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Various copyright holders. It is the researcher's responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the collection.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Includes over 300 posters, ca. 200 b & w photographs, ca. 30 colour photographs, 15 vinyl records, 5 audiocassettes, 4 negatives, 2 reel-to-reel tapes, and 2 compact discs.
Finding aids: In addition to this finding aid, rough file lists for internal use exist which link files to their original accessions. (Accession numbers also often appear on file titles and on the reverse of programs, tickets, posters, and etc.) While also described in this document, an inventory of TCDS posters and a page-by-page list of the scrapbooks’ contents also exist. Consult the archivist for more information. This finding aid has a few important features:
In this document (and in the internal file lists), productions are identified by play title, author’s name, and director’s name, except where one or two of these elements are unknown. Names are given in full (given name and surname) except where the full name is unknown or redundant (e.g. Shakespeare).
While possibly unconventional, in some cases dates have been identified by school year (e.g. “2003-2004 school year”). This has only been done when the dates are not otherwise identifiable or estimable.
This finding aid identifies folders with three numbers (e.g. 1-1-1). These numbers indicate series, box, and folder, respectively. Photos with “P” numbers (e.g. P2337) are, however, identified by that number, and oversize material is identified only to the box-level (e.g. “Oversize Box 1”).
Within Oversize Box 2 (which almost exclusively consists of posters), material is lumped into folders by date ranges, but in this finding aid the folder/unit title gives the name of the production in order to maintain consistency with standard-sized folders.
Uploaded finding aid
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
Abbreviations: Throughout this document “TCDS” is used in place of “Trinity College Dramatic Society” and “GIT” is used in place of “George Ignatieff Theatre.”
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
Rules and/or conventions used