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Alan Thornhill Papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SC-100

Scope and Contents

Alan Thornhill's Papers highlight the life and work of a British playwright. The collection contains major series of biographical, manuscripts, published, correspondence, media, and secondary materials.

The biographical material is primarily obituaries. The manuscript material contains plays, sketches, notebooks, journals, essays, sermons and talks, and wedding and funeral addresses. The largest section of the correspondence is composed of letters Thornhill sent to his mother between 1927 and 1961, the majority of which were sent during WWII. Most of the remaining correspondence concerns in some way the production of Thornhill''s plays.

Another large part of the collection consists of reviews of Thornhill's work and his manuscripts. The reviews number over 200. His manuscripts cover a wide range of materials from his plays to his personal daily journals, scattered across a span of almost 60 years.

Thornhill's published materials are evenly distributed between short works, newspaper or magazine articles, and speeches (sermons, addresses, etc.).

The media material makes up a very small percentage of the Thornhill Collection. It consists only of a few photographs, several sermons on audiocassettes, and one videocassette.

Secondary material features articles, news-clippings, reviews, and other items relating to the work and career of Thornhill. As stated before, reviews of Thornhill's work make up the majority of the secondary material. Also included are many of the programs and promotional materials for his plays. These plays were performed over a span of almost 40 years and on six continents.

The collection was processed, during the 1999-2000 academic year by Andrea Johnson.


  • Created: 1927-1992
  • Other: Date acquired: 1999


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Duplication may be restricted if copying could cause damage to items.


13 boxes

5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged by series with folder level control.

Source of Acquisition


Method of Acquisition

The Alan Thornhill Collection was the generous donation of Susan Corcoran, Thornhill

Other Descriptive Information

The Papers of Alan Thornhill gives examples of the life and work of a twentieth century, Christian, British playwright. Thornhill wrote several plays, most of which concerned controversial moral issues of the time and were written from a Christian perspective.

Alan Thornhill Papers
Buswell Library Special Collections Staff
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

501 College Ave.
Wheaton IL 60187-5593 USA