The Archives Revealed funding programme, supported by the Wolfson Foundation, The National Archives and The Pilgrim Trust has awarded five new Scoping Grants. Each of the five archives has been awarded a maximum of £3,000 to fund an assessment report incorporating expert advice on a range of areas relating to collections management and the development of their collections.

Emma Markiewicz, Director of Research and Collections at the National Archives said:

‘The Archives Revealed Scoping Grants scheme provides vital support for archives to improve understanding and accessibility of their collections. We are delighted to announce the five new recipients from our Scoping Grant programme, which will result in archives producing better plans for the development of collections, conducting robust preparation for further work on archive material, and opening up new research possibilities for the wider public.’

Archives Revealed is the only funding stream in the UK dedicated to cataloguing and unlocking archives. The Scoping Grants scheme – one of two funding strands offered – is a rolling programme with assessments taking place four times per year.

Archives Revealed is administered by the National Archives. Further details about the scheme, including guidance on how to apply, can be found on the National Archives website.

Scoping Grants have been awarded to the following archives:

Harvey’s Foundry Trust

Harvey’s Foundry Trust was originally established as Hayle Town Trust in the mid-1980s. Its central aim is to preserve buildings belonging to Harvey and Co’s world famous Foundry (which closed in 1903) and documents and objects pertaining to the wider heritage of Hayle. The Trust oversees two venues which tell the story in different ways – Hayle Heritage Centre and Hayle Archive. The latter is a longstanding community asset, established in the 1980s. It contains thousands of items from photographs and historic newspapers to industrial, social and ecclesiastical records, objects and other ephemera. This grassroots collection gives a unique insight into the history of Hayle and wider West Cornwall. With help from a scoping grant Hayle Archive will be able to fully survey its collection, gain insight into cataloguing and conservation needs and improve public access (both physical and online).

“The award of a Archives Revealed Scoping Grant to Hayle Archive represents a big step forward for Harvey’s Foundry Trust, enabling us to gain real insight into our collection. This community archive has been created and cared for over several decades by local people, for everyone interested in the history of Hayle and wider West Cornwall. The grant will open up further opportunities, helping us to understand what we have and how to conserve it, and how to engage more people in the collection and our work.” Brian Capper, Chair, Harvey’s Foundry Trust

The Royal Life Saving Society

The Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) is the oldest and largest drowning prevention and water safety organisation in the Commonwealth. The Society was founded in London in 1891 by William Henry, and a group of influential individuals seeking to reduce drowning in the Thames. 

The collection contains information and research about the development of drowning prevention, lifesaving and lifesaving sport techniques and also in the formation and development of not only the RLSS but also other drowning prevention organisations in the World.  There are also details relating to activities in World War II and the training of Civil Defence workers in resuscitation.

The collection reflects the birth of lifesaving organisations and describes how new methods and techniques were spread around the world by key volunteers. It also shows the correlation between developments in RLSS reflecting social change and the advancement of medical knowledge.

Clive Holland, Deputy Commonwealth President of the Royal Life Saving Society said ‘We value our archive and the part it plays in our heritage. We want to ensure it is preserved and made more widely available and so we are delighted to have been successful in our application under the Archives Revealed Scoping Grant Scheme.

The New Vic Theatre

The New Vic is one of the country’s most successful producing theatres and a key part of the cultural life of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Recent successes include an international tour of their hugely popular Around The World In 80 Days, including a Broadway run, and the UK Theatre award-winning adaptation of The Snow Queen. Our visionary and award-winning community programmes are among the most successful in the country, engaging with thousands of participants through our Education Department and the ground-breaking New Vic Borderlines, which works to change the lives of the most disadvantaged members of the community.

The Victoria Theatre Archive is a collection which dates back to the inception of the Victoria Theatre in 1962.  Inspired by the work of Stephen Joseph, visionary pioneer of theatre in the round and led by the late director Peter Cheeseman CBE, the theatre developed a reputation for creating documentary dramas about topical local subjects.  Early works included The Knotty, about the North Staffordshire Railway; Fight for Shelton Bar, about the closure of a local steelworks, and The Jolly Potters, about the struggle for workers’ rights in the pottery industry.  The theatre moved from its site in Hartshill in 1986, when local people fundraised to build a new theatre for the community – and the New Vic became the first theatre-in-the-round in Europe. 

Fiona Wallace, New Vic Theatre Managing Director said: “The Archives Revealed Scoping Grant will help us to safeguard the materials from the history of our building, people, art and local issues, and help to make the collection more readily available, and accessible, to those interested in our history.”

EMI Archive Trust

The EMI Archive Trust was set up in 1996 to preserve the history of recorded music, dating from 1897 until, primarily but not exclusively, pre-1947. The collection encompasses an extraordinary journey through music, technology and British history starting with EMI’s precursor, the first major European record label, the Gramophone Company.  EMI Archive Trust has charitable status in the UK and was set up to protect valuable museum standard assets and historic recordings from being sold and to stop the collection ever being broken up.

The British Library understandably calls the EMI Archive Trust one of the world’s largest and most diverse music and technology archives, while Geoff Marsh, Head Curator of The Victoria and Albert says of the EMI collection:

“As the world’s largest museum of art, design and performance, with a permanent holding of over 2.2 million objects, there are few collections in the UK which put us in the shade. One of them, in terms of music, is the extraordinary archive of EMI. Not only is it a crucial collection of classical and modern music but it documents a key part of the UK’s manufacturing, design and creative history.”

Marsh adds: “The Trust is always generous with ideas and loans. As Curator of the 1960s exhibition, “You Say You Want A Revolution” (now in Melbourne and then on tour to Paris), we were extremely grateful for the loan of the EMI Archive Trust’s original drawing of The Beatles Sgt Pepper album cover by Sir Peter Blake, along with other support. The huge success of that exhibition is a testimony to the role music plays in people’s lives and the close connection between music and culture. As Plato put it, ‘When the sound of the music changes, the walls of the city shake’.”

The EMI Archive Trust’s strategic focus is now on public benefit via education, research, exhibitions, publishing, broadcast activities and heritage protection. A scoping grant will allow the Trustees to prioritise areas of the collection to develop as key elements of this strategy.

Caryn Tomlinson, Chair of the EMI Archive Trust comments: “Receiving this scoping grant award will help us steer our priorities as we implement our strategy over the next five years. The Trustees and I are enormously grateful to The National Archive and their team, who are all uniquely generous with their advice and guidance.”

Salford Community Leisure

Salford City Archives are a treasure trove of information that boast a number of facets that capture the imagination and stimulate enquiry.

The Salford City Archives is a local authority collection of mainly paper documents from the local historic townships, Boroughs and Urban District Councils that now make up the modern Metropolitan City of Salford.

The collection is mainly collated from the local authority and relates to the business of the local council providing services to the local community. As such, it is a unique collection of items that tell us untold stories about the businesses, people and communities that have ever operated within the City of Salford. It is of immense importance to family historians, local historians, academics and local enthusiasts.

For further information please see The National Archives website.

(Photo courtesy of Harvey’s Foundry)