Frank Bailey/Allen Family Archive
Reference code: T16
Title: Frank Bailey/Allen Family Archive
Date(s): February 1867-December 1986
Extent: 11 boxes
Location: Strong room
Biographical History

Frank Bailey was born in Galway in 1938, the son of Des and Angela (later Allen, on her marriage to John). Both of his parents came from noted Galway hotelier families. Bailey was educated at Castleknock College and University College Galway, where he received his BA. He was a producer with the Dramatic Society in the university for three years, winning the Best Producer Prize and the University Drama Association Festival. His productions included Arthur Miller's All My Sons and Brand by Ibsen. His staging of Brand brought DramSocinto the modern era, and this dramatic vision was to inspire many others. Bailey also participated in Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe at this time. After graduation he spent some time with Radio Éireann as an actor and producer. Productions there included A Man for All Seasons by Robert Bolt andThe Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Bailey then established his own dramatic company, producing dramas such as The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams and The Caretaker by Harold Pinter. With the Abbey Theatre he produced The Colleen Bawn by Dion Boucicault. He was also the artistic director for Amalgamated Artists, based in the Eblana Theatre. Bailey also worked with Taibhdhearc again at this point, producing An Spuaic Solais (The Honey Spike) by Bryan MacMahon, amongst other productions. He was one of a number of producers working with the theatre in late 1960s and early 1970s who brought Irish language theatre into a new era of artistic achievement. Frank Bailey died tragically in a car accident in June 1971. It was for his work with the Celtic Art Theatre in Galway in 1971 that he is perhaps best remembered for, as it was the first attempt to bring professional English language theatre back to Galway. Through his work at that time he sowed the seeds among a young generation of actors in University College Galway, and elsewhere, which later came to fruition in the rejuvenation of DramSoc at UCG, Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe and ultimately the Druid Theatre Company.

Immediate Source of Acquisition or Transfer

Acquired from Angela Allen by the James Hardiman Library in April 2006.

Scope and Content

Material relating to Frank Bailey's life and career, including correspondence, press cuttings, programmes, photographs and associated material. This material encompasses his time as a student at Castleknock College, Dublin and later at University College Galway, as well as his output as a drama director with a number of companies. This includes the UCG DramSoc, RTÉ, numerous companies in Dublin and Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. Material relating to John and Angela Allen's business interests, particularly the Imperial Hotel, Galway.

System of arrangement

Frank Bailey's papers have been subdivided into four sections: Personal Items, Photographs, Programmes and Brochures and Ephemera. John and Angela Allen's papers are primarily business related. These have been maintained in the Allens' original files and organisation, which have been sorted internally into chronological order.

Conditions governing access

This collection is available to all bona fide researchers, and subject to the conditions of access governing consultation of archival material at the James Hardiman Library. For a full statement of these conditions see: No material may be reproduced from this collection without the written permission of the archivist, and all reproductions are subject to conditions of access. The most appropriate form of reference is Title of item; date of item: Reference Number (T16/xx), James Hardiman Library Archives, NUI Galway.

Finding aids
Descriptive list, prepared by Sarah Poutch in 2011.
Return to List of Deposited Collections