The collection spans the years 1913-1954 and includes correspondence, a scrapbook with book reviews and letters of congratulations to Lancaster, research notes outlining and analyzing the plays of 17th and 18th century French dramatists and the repertoire of the Comedie Francaise, drafts and typescripts, and galley proofs. A large part of the collection is in French.
The correspondence contains letters from Paris publisher Edouard Champion written between 1919 and 1921 relating to publication of "Le Memoire de Mahelot, Laurent et d'autres Decorateurs de l'Hotel de Bourgogne et de la Comedie-Francaise au XVII Siecle," edited by Henry Carrington Lancaster. Also of interest are letters from William Churchill dated 1913-1914 with reference to Lancaster's critical and biographical study of Pierre Du Ryer. Reviews of the latter work accompany the letters.
The scrapbook contains book reviews of "Le Memoire de Mahelot..." This memoir consists of accounts written by the scene painters of the Hotel de Bourgogne and later of the Comedie Francaise between the years 1633-1686. These notes list the titles of 268 plays and the decorations and costumes needed for the plays. There are reproduced the designs for 47 scenes which show the setting of plays by Du Ryer, Rotrou, Gombould, Scudery, Bois-Robert, Mairet and other. In addition to the book reviews, the scrapbook also contains letters of congratulation to Lancaster from the following: Gilbert Chinard, Gustave Cohen, Jacques Copeau, Xavier de Courville, E.P. Dargan, Emile Henriot, Jean Jules Jusserand, Brander Matthews, William A. Nitze, H. Prunieres, G. Reynier, Gustav von Roosbroek, Albert Sching.
The research notes are in Lancaster's handwriting, in a mixture of French and English, and consist of outlines and analyses of 17th and 18th century plays with biographical details on many of the dramatists. There is one folder of notes on plays with on authors indicated. The rest of the notes are arranged by playwright in alphabetical order. There are also extensive research notes on the Comedie-Francaise Registre and Repertoire.
Of Lancaster's writings there are drafts, typescripts, and galleys of the following: "Actors's Roles at the Comedie-Francaise, according to Repertoire des comedies francoises qui se peuuent jouer en 1685;" "French Tragedy in the Reign of Louis XVI and the Early Years of the French Revolution;" "Rienzi" par Joseph Francois Laignelot (edited by Henry Carrington Lancaster); "Silvie," attributed to Paul Landois (edited by Henry Carrington Lancaster).