It is “Explore Your Archive Week”, no, we didn’t know that either until it appeared on the TV this morning … nil desperandum, we have an archive and we encourage you to explore it!
Previously known as Arts Archive, the Internet UK Theatre Database (iUKTDb) was incorporated back into the main UKTW website a couple of years ago. The archive currently contains (as of 10th November 2014) 106,819 works in 159,719 productions involving 169,559 people/companies giving 882,409 events in 3,178 venues. The archive goes back to the mid-1990s and whilst by no means complete it is without doubt the most extensive archive of performing arts activities in the UK of that period.
Each archive entry is made up of a work, production, venue and listing as follows;
- Work – for plays, musicals, opera etc this is the “script”, the work as produced by the author (and possibly adapter and translator), for concerts and dance this is often the group or company as that makes more sense for those searching. Authors, composers are normally associated with a work. For example this could be “Hamlet” by Shakespeare or “The Bootleg Beatles” or “Rambert Dance Company”.
- Production – each work can optionally have associated productions, or tours, which combine directors, producers, performers and possibly enhanced synopsis information to describe the actual production itself. For example, this could be “the RSC’s 2005 production of Hamlet”, “The WOS production of 42nd Street”.
- Venue – we define physical venues as being the places performances are held. Venues are theatres, stadia, concert halls, arts centres etc. A venue may consist of several stages or spaces but, normally, these will be combined into a single entry (the main exception being the stages of the National Theatre which are separately listed). Venues are located in Regions (England, Scotland, etc) which are sub-dvided into counties/unitary authorities (these are not always accurate as areas change from time to time) and finally towns/cities. We also use ‘General’ areas for performances outside the normal venue structure (e.g. city-wide festivals, street performances, etc). ‘General’ areas may be defined on a town/city or county level. Greater London is considered a county which is split into the fictional towns of West End, Inner London and Outer London.
- Listing – A listing combines a work, an optional production and a venue and adds date range and performance run specific information. For instance, it may combine Hamlet with the RSC 2005 production of Hamlet with the Shakespeare Theatre and provide date and price range information. Note that, to UKTW, The Mousetrap is ONE listing despite its longevity.
- QTIX – Each of the elements (work, production, venue, listing) has an unique identifier; Listings = Lxxxx, Works = Sxxxx, Productions=Txxxx and venues=Vxxxx. These identifiers are unique and permanent and are refered to as QTIX Codes.
- People – people are not categorised in the same way but are included in work and production details along with their role (e.g. Director or Performer:Hamlet). People are identified by name only so there may be clashes (not everyone is a member of Equity!).
- Amateur – We make no differentiation between amateur, pro-am and professional productions.
- Special – we have listed ‘special’ performances included Signed and vocally described
- Film and Broadcast: For a short period (1999-2001) we listed cinemas and films and we listed the programmes of the Performance Channel between 2000 and 2001. These listings are included in the archive