The Theatres Trust unveils its specialist theatre buildings reference library

Howard Loxton

The Theatres TrustThe Theatres Trust, the body set up by Act of Parliament in 1976 "to promote the better protection of theatres" and which is the National Advisory Public Body for theatres, yesterday launched its newly catalogued, 1500-strong, specialist reference library on theatre buildings as a public resource.

The library is formed partly by the Association of British Theatre Technicians' (ABTT) technical theatre book collection, which came over to the Trust, and the new catalogue integrates the two collections along with ongoing donations and acquisitions. It now has its own specific classification system which covers 34 unique categories ranging from theatre architecture and design and the history of theatres, to set design, acoustics and theatre management.

Mhora Samuel, director of The Theatres Trust declared it "a real step forward in theatre building research. We can welcome more theatre researchers and the collection is far more accessible."

The cataloguing has been done by a dedicated team of staff and volunteers led by Kate Carmichael, resources officer at The Theatres Trust, Jane Thornton MBE, archivist for the Association of British Theatre Technicians and assistant librarian Maria Sestini.

Kate Carmichael said, "It will help us to manage the growing demand from researchers using our library and complements our architectural plans and other archive collections."

Jane Thornton, pleased to have helped integrate the ABTT's collection of technical theatre books into the Trust's reference library, felt it the right place for them. "Now," she declared, "under one roof you can find not only the history of the buildings but that of the technicians whose ingenuity helped to bring the shows to life.'

The library and the Trust's other research collections are available at their offices in the heart of Theatreland at 22 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0QL, a few yards from Leicester Square underground station. Those wishing to use these resources should first make an appointment: details at www.theatrestrust.org.uk.