Fonds MS-3-18 - Robert Doyle fonds

Costume design for Neapolitan Dancer Costume design for Dancers : Act 1 Costume design for Dancers : Act 1 Costume design for The Bride : Prologue Costume design for male dancers : vest details Costume design for Pages at the Ball : Act 2 Costume design for Attendants at the Ball : Act 3 Costume design for Servants : Act 1 Costume design for Picnic Servers : Act 1 Costume design for Gentleman Retainer : Bengt Costume design for unidentified female dancer Costume design for Female Dancers : Act 1 Costume design for the Black Swan Costume design for Odette Costume design for corps of Brides/Swans Costume design for Queen Mother Costume design for Von Rothbart Costume design for Jester : Act 1 Costume design for Spanish Dancers : Act 2 Costume design for Mazurka Costume design for a Page : Act 1 Costume design for Picnic Guests Costume design for Ladies in Waiting : Act 1 Costume design for Prince Seigfried : Act 1 Costume design for Flagbearers : Act 1 Costume design for Princesses : Act 2 Costume design for the Queen at the Ball : Act 2 Costume for the Prince at the Ball : Act 2 Costume design for Ladies at the Ball Costume design for Czardas Costume design for Dancing Master at the ball : Act 2 Sketch of headdress detail for Black Swan Sketch of Street Activity : Halifax 1753 Costume design for fur trapper and Mic Mac Costume design for street performers Costume design for townspeople Costume design for Reçolet Brothers (Dominican) Costume design for Afro Funk Costume design for Afro Funk circus performers Costume design for Afro Funk rappers Costume designs for Adult Choir, Children's Choir, and Gymnast Flag Bearers Costume designs for Vaudeville Costume design for Movie Musical Costume design for Brenna Conrad : Opening Costume design for Liz Rigney : Canada Scene Sketch of Act 1 Finale, WW 1 Scene Costume design for Basic Peasant Clothes Costume design for Kung-Tu Costume design for Tor Quo Costume design for To-Si
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Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Robert Doyle fonds

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  • Textual record
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  • 1964 - 2019 (Creation)
    Doyle, Robert

Physical description area

Physical description

170 cm of textual records
40 photographs

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Name of creator

(1938 - 2019)

Biographical history

Robert Doyle was a leading figure in set and costume design in Canada, whose work has been showcased in more than 500 theatre productions. Born in Edinburgh in 1938, but raised in Canada, he began his professional career as a dancer with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet Company. After undergoing knee surgery he transitioned into theatrical design, working at regional theatres such as Manitoba Theatre Centre and Halifax's Neptune Theatre, where he was the founding costume designer. He pursued his studies at Wimbledon School of Fine Art's Theatre Division. While in England he researched 18th-century civilian and military clothes, and later trained a staff to invent accurate copies for the character animation planned for the restoration of Fortress Louisburg in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

This ambitious project sparked Doyle's awareness of the need for costume design training in Canada, and he subsequently taught at Regina University and at Dalhousie University, where he founded the Costumes Studies Program. In 1999 he was appointed Art Director of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Pan American Games in Winnipeg. He has also designed costumes and sets for The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo and Ballet Jörgen, and conducted costume workshops throughout North America. In 2006 Doyle taught the final year at Red Deer College's Costume Program. He subsequently wrote a series of books on costume-making, including Waisted Efforts: An Illustrated Guide to Corset Making, Laundry: The Whys and Hows of Cleaning Clothes, Art of the Tailor, and Costuming the Dance.

In 2007 Robert Doyle received the Order of Canada for his life's work and mentoring of members of the Canadian theatre community. He died 13 November 2019.

Custodial history

Records were donated to the Dalhousie University Archives in 29 accessions between 1983 and 2020: Jane Trimble donated records in accession (1983-005) in 1983; Robert Doyle donated records in 27 accessions between 1983 and 2013; and Barbara Howatt, executor to the estate of Robert Doyle, donated records in accession (2020-001) in January 2020.

Scope and content

Fonds consists primarily of papers relating to Robert Doyle’s career as a costume and set designer. There are also research, administrative, and class papers from his office. The fonds consists of correspondence (1964-1997), Dalhousie University papers (1975-1997), Costume Studies program course materials (1974-1997), financial papers (1967-1994), legal documents (1972-1996), research notes and related materials (1970-1996), association related materials (1968-1997), production related materials (1976-2012), and miscellaneous papers and photographs (1968-1996) collected by Robert Doyle.

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Records within each series are arranged alphabetically unless otherwise noted.

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  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

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General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], Robert Doyle fonds, MS-3-18, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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