Fonds consist of records detailing the academic career of John Overton Orrell, with the bulk of the records concentrating on his academic research related to the Globe Theatre rebuilding project. Dr. Orrell became involved with the project in 1979, and was an active member with the Globe Rebuilding Committee through years of research, site digs, theory constructions, and the eventual rebuilding and opening of the replica Globe Theatre on the banks of the Thames River in London, England. His Globe project files are very detailed, and include annual project files, meeting minutes, correspondence with the Globe architect, Theo Crosby, and other members of the Globe â€˜teamâ€™, as well as detailed architectural plans, drawings, and photographs. There are also files concerning the function of the theatre once built, including opening festivities, publicity, fund-raising, and theatre season brochures.
The Orrell fonds span his academic career, including early doctoral research files which evolved into early teaching files, with detailed notes on readings, cited references, and copies of various articles, imprint, and scholarly papers related to his fields of research interest. There is a blending between what might have been research files, and what became teaching files, but the end result if a fonds that represents his many professional activities, research interests and directions. There are University of Alberta administrative files, reflecting Orrellâ€™s position as a long-serving faculty member and the accompanying duties this entailed. Dr. Orrellâ€™s professional activities are also reflected in files concerning conferences and seminars attended, speeches given, and correspondence maintained with fellow academics and colleagues.
One series is devoted to his script writing activities, which includes a number of files related to a study of British television programs and scripts, undertaken during an early sabbatical year abroad. Dr. Orrell was the author of several scripts written for Canadian radio and television productions, and copies of the annotated scripts are included in this series of records.
A fairly extensive series relates to John Orrellâ€™s research, writing and publishing activities, and again there is a blurring of lines as much of his research and writing activity is tied closely to his work with the Globe Theatre project. This series is organized into several sub-series to better facilitate access to its many components.
Only a few files concern Professor Orrellâ€™s personal life, and these are described in a small series. A final series describes the extensive photograph holdings, although a more detailed description to the photographs will be prepared at a later date.