The Committee is the ABTT’s expert group on the physical and technical history of buildings, productions and associated entertainment installations and equipment.  It acts as technical adviser on these matters to The Theatres Trust and other bodies.

The ABTT Historical Research Committee meetings for the first half of 2017 will be on the following dates:

25th January
22nd February
29th March
26th April
31st May

All meetings will be on a Wednesday, all commence at 13.00hrs and all are to be held at The Theatres Trust.

Key objectives are:

  • Researching, recording and publishing all aspects of physical and technical theatre history.
  • Maintaining active liaison with APAC (Association of Performing Arts Collections), SIBMAS (International Directory of Performing Arts Collections and Institutions) and other appropriate bodies.
  • Advising on and promoting ways of conserving historic theatre equipment, documentary material and artefacts.
  • Continuing a “Living History” programme of audio and video interviews of distinguished practitioners in creative and technical theatre for the ABTT and other appropriate archive collections.
  • Establishing and maintaining a professional archive of information, publications and transactions.
  • Nurturing an interest in the history of technical theatre for future generations through the presentation of public events both in London and around the United Kingdom.
  • Co-operating with others to promote the objectives of the Association whenever possible.


ABTT Technical Backstage Survey 2009

An authoritative list of items of historically important technical material in existing theatres throughout the UK.

ABTT Technical Theatre Book Collection

The ABTT Book Collection now resides at The Theatres Trust. More information on this can be found here.

ABTT Register of Paint Frames and Floors

A constantly developing listing of painting facilities for backcloths and scenery in the UK.

Recent Items of Interest:

BLITZ! By Lionel Bart

Recording of the Stage Management ring  during a set failure and its remedy while in performance in 1962.

New Theatre in St Martin’s Lane

Planning description of 1890 for the Trafalgar Theatre later named the Duke of York’s Theatre.