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Heneker, David: The David Heneker Archive

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2108 KUAS82
Held at: Kingston University
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Full title: Heneker, David: The David Heneker Archive
Date(s): [1920-1999]
Level of description: Collection (Fonds)
Extent: 30 Boxes
Name of creator(s): Heneker | David | 1906-2001 | composer and lyricist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

After an early career in the Army, David Heneker turned his hand to songwriting, composing several songs for revues and cabarets in the 1930s, and composing war time songs during the Second World War. In 1948 he resigned his commission from the Army and became a songwriter, while also working as a pianist at the Embassy Club. He went on to compose songs for or to contribute to several musicals. Some of his notable works include 'Charlie Girl', 'Irma la Douche', 'Phil the Fluter', 'Jorrocks', 'Popkiss', 'Expresso Bongo' and 'Half a Sixpence'. He also composed songs for films and for advertising.


Scope and content/abstract:

The David Heneker Archive contains the working papers of musical theatre composer David Heneker, who wrote or contributed to several well known musicals incluing 'Half a Sixpence' and 'Charlie Girl'. The Archive contains materials relating to each of the shows David Heneker worked on including drafts of songs and scripts, musicals scores, correspondence and publicity. There is also material relating to his work as a songwriter in the 1930s and 1940s (including the Second World War), and his work for films and advertising. There are also materials relating to shows and films that David Heneker worked on that never reached the final production stage.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Original order. The Collection is arranged alphabetically by show (with the exception of 'Half a Sixpence' which appears at the beginning of the run), followed by materials relating to his work for revues, films, advertising and war songs.

Conditions governing access:

The collection is available to view by appointment in the Kingston University Archives and Special Collections search room.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Many items in the Collection can not be copied due to copyright restrictions or the physical condition of the document. Please refer any requests for copies to a member of staff.

Finding aids:

A box list is available to view in the archives search room. Full catalogue records will eventually be added on to our archives catalogue at

Archival Information

Archival history:

The collection was compiled over many years by David Heneker, and it accompanied him on his travels for his work. Later Stewart Nicholls worked on listing and ordering the Collection. It was eventually donated to Kingston University Archives and Special Collection.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The Heneker family

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:

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