Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation Archives and Library, Sydney

Identity area



Authorized form of name

Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation Archives and Library, Sydney

Parallel form(s) of name

Other form(s) of name

  • S,B&W Foundation Archives and Library SBW Foundation Archives and Library


  • Community

Contact area





Street address

10/20 Young Street,




New South Wales

Country name

Postal code



02 9955 5444



Description area


The Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation was founded in 1986 as a charitable organisation to benefit the Australian Performing Arts.

The mission of The Foundation is to promote and encourage the knowledge, understanding, appreciation and enjoyment of drama, opera, dance, mime, music, puppetry and all other forms and facets of the performing arts in all their expressions within Australia.

Its founder, Dr Rodney Frederick Marsden Seaborn AO OBE (1912-2008) was a Sydney psychiatrist and a patron of the performing arts.
When the Stables Theatre in Kings Cross, home to the Griffin Theatre Company, went up for sale in 1986 and risked possible demolition, Dr Seaborn bought it. At the same time, he established a charitable trust to benefit the performing arts, so that theatre lovers could join as Friends and assist him in his new role as a performing arts philanthropist.

He named the trust the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation, incorporating his family’s names, and invited his cousins Dr Peter Broughton and Leslie Walford onto the Founding Board.

He also created the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation Archive, Library and Performing Arts Collection.

The SB&W Foundation is custodian of a large accumulation of archives and manuscripts which are of considerable historical significance for the study of the performing arts in Australia. These archives and manuscripts were initially part of a collaborative project with NIDA, the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, with the object of preserving them and making them accessible to the wider community through the internet.
For further information about the history, see

Geographical and cultural context

Mandates/Sources of authority

Administrative structure

Records management and collecting policies

The scope of the archival and library collections of The Foundation are defined in broad terms and comprehend practically all aspects of the history and development of theatre and the performing arts in Australia. The Foundation’s collections embrace drama, opera, dance, ballet, mime, music, puppetry and all other forms and facets of the performing arts.



  • John West Archives
  • Marionette Theatre of Australia Archives
  • Allan Lees Collection
  • The James Cassius Williamson Personal Diary 1909
  • Sydney George Matthew Irving Papers
  • The Griffin Theatre Company Archives
  • Peter Morrison Publicity Pty Ltd Archives

Finding aids, guides and publications

Access area

Opening times

Access is by appointment. Please contact

Access conditions and requirements


Services area

Research services

Reproduction services

Public areas

Control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 3 January 2021




Maintenance notes

Access points

Access Points

  • Arts and Culture (Thematic area)
  • Clipboard

Primary contact

10/20 Young Street,
Sydney, New South Wales 2089