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Ronald Watkins Collection

Special Collections & Archives

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Dr. Ronald Watkins, OBE, was born August 29th, 1904 in Surrey, England. His lifelong love of Shakespeare led him in 1932 to a teaching position at Harrow School for Boys in Middlesex England. After WWII he created an Elizabethan performing space out of a bombed out speech room at Harrow and continued putting on Shakespearean performances until his retirement in 1964. After his retirement, Dr. Watkins wrote several books on Shakespeare and toured the world lecturing on the playwright. His primary focus, "The Cause" as he called it throughout his career, was to recreate Shakespeare's plays in the way Shakespeare himself would have presented them in Elizabethan England.

In 1999, Dr. Watkins left his collections to the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. In addition to his books, he left his prompt books, pictures, Harrow School materials and the copyright to many of his lectures and books. The full collection of this special material is housed in Special Collections & Archives. This digital collection includes digitized material from Dr. Watkins' time at Harrow School as well as audio lectures on various Shakespearean plays and topics. We will be adding to the digital collection in the months and years to come.