About the Archive 

The Abbey Theatre Archive contains posters, programmes, photographs, lighting plans, set and costume designs, scripts, audio and audio-visual files, administrative records and other material.

Touch hand-drawn costume designs from 1905 or the original prompt script for The Plough and the Stars from 1926.


The Abbey Theatre’s Performance Database draws information from our master programme collection and contains details (cast, creative, crew, dates, venues) of almost all Abbey plays from 1904 onwards.

Abbey Theatre Digital Archive Project 

The Digital Archive Project is the digitisation of the Abbey Theatre Archive for future generations.

NUI Galway and the Abbey Theatre have joined forces to create the largest ever digitisation project of its kind worldwide and unlock a new era of theatre scholarship and shed new light on the history of Irish theatre and Irish life.

To find information on how to access the Abbey Theatre Digital Archive at NUI Galway click here.


Minute Books

Discover hand-written, never-before-seen transcriptions of the Abbey Theatre’s Minute Books from our early years.

We begin in 1904 with the founding of the Abbey Theatre by W.B. Yeats and Lady Gregory and conclude in 1939, the year of Yeats’ death.

The Minute Books reveal a range of material, from the threat of government censorship of The Plough and the Stars in 1926 to the leaking of Yeats’ late play Purgatory to a Jesuit priest in 1938.


The Abbey Theatre Archive is a resource for theatre-makers and researchers.

Records housed on and off-site are made available to researchers by appointment.

Making an appointment is essential and booking well in advance is recommended.

Please note:

  • Advise the Archivist of your areas of interest in advance.
  • Photographic ID and where appropriate a letter of introduction from your university may be requested.

On-site research appointments are available: Monday-Thursday, 10am-1pm and 2pm-4pm.

Donate an Item 

Have you a piece of Abbey history or memorabilia? We welcome new donations of archival material.

We are adding to the Abbey Theatre Archive every week. Every new item adds another chapter to the evolving story of your national theatre.

If you would like to make an enquiry, please call (01) 88 72 200 or email mairead.delaney@abbeytheatre.ie