001 (2)The Collection

After his death, Lawrence’s collections of notebooks found their way to the used-book trade where most of them were obtained by William S. Clark II, a professor of English at the University of Cincinnati, to add to his own research in Restoration literature and theater. Another 20 of Lawrence’s notebooks, the focus of which are on scenery, production records, and prompt books, were purchased by theater historian Richard Southern and are now part of the University of Bristol Theatre Collection. When Clark died in 1969, the University of Cincinnati’s Charles Phelps Taft Library Fund bought the notebooks from his estate. The collection has been microfilmed and listed by volume in the university’s online catalog. Over the decades it has been supplemented with hundreds of 18th- and 19th-century Irish plays, and is actively used for both scholarly work on Lawrence and on British drama, as well as by students interested in Irish urban history.

ARB hopes to one day digitize the entire Lawrence journal collection.


The Archives and Rare Books Library of the University of Cincinnati collects rare and unique materials including rare books,  university archives, historical manuscripts, maps, microfilm, photographs, art, and artifacts.

The William J. Lawrence website was created by ARB’s 2013-2014 intern, Melissa Schirmer