Special Collections & Archives


David Drummond Pantomime Collection

David Drummond (born 1930) was a prominent secondhand bookseller, who ran a specialist theatrical bookshop in central London called “Pleasures of Past Times” from 1967 until his retirement in 2015. During this time he built up his own substantial collection of books, posters, prints, and ephemera relating to the history of British pantomime, of which he became an acknowledged expert.

The David Drummond Pantomime Collection spans four centuries of British pantomime history. It is particularly strong in material relating to the following topics:

  • Joseph Grimaldi (1778–1837)
  • Dan Leno (1860–1904)
  • The Harlequinade
  • Pantomime dames
  • Principal boys

While pantomimes in all their forms are represented, the collection has a wealth of material relating to performances of ‘Cinderella’, ‘Aladdin’, ‘Babes in the Wood’ and ‘Dick Whittington’ in particular.

The collection is highly visual, with an extensive range of promotional material and prints.

A selection of material from the collection was displayed at The Beaney in Canterbury from 25 November 2017 – 18 February 2018.

Illustration Mr Dan Leno as The Widow Twanky from the David Drummond Pantomime Collection


Collection in brief

Contents: playbills, posters, prints, sketches, books, publicity material, ephemera, costumes
Period: 18th-21st century

not yet – email specialcollections@kent.ac.uk for access


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Last Updated: 07/03/2018