The goal of this collection of Rose Playhouse records is to offer a prototype for a series of digital editions of London area renaissance and Jacobean playhouses now proposed for the REED Online series. The hope is to stimulate interest in the use of individual playhouse collections linked with GIS mapping and manuscript images in the classroom as well as the study. The Rose records have been chosen first as a small but representative sample that can now be viewed for comment and further development. It should be noted that Henslowe's Diary has not been re-edited for inclusion here, for obvious reasons. Not only is R.A. Foakes' authoritative edition widely available but Grace Ioppolo intends to upload a digital version of the Diary on the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project in future. The Records and editorial apparatus have been fully checked by REED's editorial team but have not yet been circulated for external assessment so constructive feedback from our users will be welcome (please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org).
As editor of this collection, I have delighted in the support and expertise of several members of the REED editorial team. First and foremost, our project manager, Carolyn Black, who has efficiently co-ordinated work on the Rose while simultaneously bringing the more extensive edition of Hampshire, edited by Peter Greenfield and the late Jane Cowling, to publication. I am grateful also to REED's associate editor and paleographer, Patrick Gregory, who checked all transcriptions and contributed the English Glossary; to Illya Nokhrin, who assisted in content checking the editorial apparatus and tagged all entities for searching across the collection with resourcefulness and patient attention to every detail; and to Stephanie Hovland, REED's research associate in England, who assisted in on-site work at an earlier stage of research. Tanya Hagen, REED's bibliographer and now associate editor, has been an invaluable companion along the way, first as our research paths converged while she edited the Rose bibliographic data for the Early Modern London Theatres website and lately as bibliographic support and copy-editor of the completed collection. The Rose, like other REED digital editions, would not appear on our screens without the expertise and advice of our programmer, Jamie Norrish, who has incorporated manuscript images to complement transcriptions for the first time. My long-time collaborator, Byron Moldofsky, deserves special mention for his cartographic skills and ongoing interest in developing a more ambitious project to map not only the Southwark area in historic detail but also the wider London area for more collections to come. It has not been possible at this time to include the detailed map for Southwark with a timeline feature, as hoped, but Byron's demo version will be available as an 'online resource' on REED's information website, https://reed.utoronto.ca.
The inclusion of manuscript digital images has been made possible through friendly permissions granted by the following archives: The National Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives (City of London). My thanks to Paul Johnson (TNA) and Laurence Ward (LMA) for responding to my requests. I am also grateful for help with permission to publish transcriptions from Wendy Hawke at LMA and from the Trust for London for the 1650 lease of the Little Rose Estate. My special thanks go to Calista Lucy, Keeper of the Archives at Dulwich College, and to Grace Ioppolo, Director of the Henslowe-Alleyn Digitisation Project, who granted permission to link my transcriptions to the professional images on the open access Henslowe-Alleyn website.
My visits to Dulwich College for work on the wonderful archive collection there were made memorable by Calista's hospitality and I look forward to continuing collaboration with Grace, whose support for both the Rose and my forthcoming collection for the Bear Garden/Hope with Stephanie Hovland has been warmly appreciated.
On a personal note, I have treasured the friendship and shared interests of Bill Ingram and Alan Nelson, whose generous work on the parish records of St Saviour's Southwark made freely available on the web has assisted my own in many ways. It is a great pleasure that Bill has willingly shared his transcriptions of early records of the Little Rose estate for inclusion as Appendix 1 in this collection.
Finally, this prototype publication has been made possible by two grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The first funded the initial research phase for the Rose and four other playhouses south of the river and, more recently, a Connection grant enabled most editorial staff work for the prototype itself.