Collection RSC - Royal Shakespeare Company Programmes

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Royal Shakespeare Company Programmes

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  • 1967-1997 (Creation)

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Physical description

184 items, 0.4 metres textual material (2 boxes)

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Biographical history

Brian Llewellyn Evans was born in Taber, Alberta, Canada on October 5, 1932. He was educated at the University of Alberta where he earned a B.A. (European History) in 1954. He subsequently, earned a Ph.D. (1961) in Chinese History at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He developed an early fascination with China which became a lifelong passion. While studying in London, he married his wife of many years, the late Margo Burwash. From 1961 until his retirement in 1996 he taught Chinese and East Asian History at the University of Alberta. He also developed the teaching of Asian languages and student exchanges with universities in Asia and elsewhere.

Dr. Evans was appointed assistant professor of history (September, 1961) at the University of Alberta where he began his teaching and research career. There, he introduced the first courses in East Asian Studies and pioneered the field of Chinese and Asian history, more broadly. He was associate professor in 1967, Chair of the Department of History in 1968-73, and was appointed full professor in 1973.

In 1973-74, Brian was seconded to the Canadian Embassy in Beijing as Counsellor in Charge of Cultural Affairs. He later served as an Advisor on Academic Relations with the Department of External Affairs, Ottawa, and as an advisor to the federal and provincial governments on China policy.

During his tenure at the University of Alberta, Dr. Evans served as Chair of the Departments of History and of East Asian Languages and Literatures, as well as, Associate Dean of Arts for the Social Sciences. He was later appointed Associate Vice-President (Academic) for International Affairs in 1985, and subsequently served as the University's Coordinator of International Affairs.

As Professor of Chinese History, he taught and engaged in research and publishing in the areas of Canada's relations with East Asia and modern China. He taught and published extensively in the areas of modem China and Canadian-Chinese relations and travelled widely in Asia (particularly in China), Africa, the former USSR and Western Europe.

Professor Evans played an active role in the development of the B.A. with a specialization in East Asian Studies. He was instrumental in the creation of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, of which he served as Acting Chair in 1981-82. He also served at the Department of External Affairs as Cultural Counsellor and Sinologist in Residence at the Canadian Embassy in Peking (1973-74).

Since retiring in 1996 Dr. Evans made annual visits to universities in China, giving lectures and attending conferences on World Civilizations and Canadian Studies.

Dr. Evans was the recipient of many honours and awards, amoung them include the Order of Canada (2000), the Queen's Jubilee Medal (2004) and the Alberta Centennial Medal (2005). He received an Honorary Research Membership of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing (2006) along with the appointment of Adjunct Professor of History by the Northeast Normal University in Changchun, Jilin, China (2006) and a life long honorary membership of the Edmonton Chinese Benevolent Association.

In 2001, Brian was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of his outstanding role in establishing Chinese and East Asian studies in Alberta and in advancing the Alberta Chinese community

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of two related items in addition to production programmes. The programmes are a valuable source of information about the Royal Shakespeare Company. They profile the cast of each production, as well as listing the company's personnel. Information about past productions of the play, as well as acknowledgments of corporate and private sponsors, is also available in the programmes. Along with Shakespearian plays, the collection contains other classics, as well as modern works.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

2005 gift of Brian Evans, Emeritus Professor of Chinese History, and former head of the UofA Department of History.


The programmes are arranged into one series and ordered chronologically, based on the Press Night date of each production; they are then filed by year. Due to inconsistent, erratic season dates and overlap among theatres, arrangement by season or theatre was not possible; however, these details, where available, are noted at the individual item level.

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Location of originals

The Royal Shakespeare Company Programmes collection is housed at the University of Alberta Library's Research and Collections Resource Facility (RCRF). It is available to students, staff, and the general public for use at a supervised reading room at RCRF or Bruce Peel Special Collections. To request items from this collection please use the links in the catalogue record.

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There are no access restrictions on this collection.

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Written by Stacey Sokolan, July 19, 2005

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