Current projects

October 2018 Scoping Grants were awarded to:

The Musical Museum – Music Carriers Collection

The music carriers collection consists of an internationally significant collection of perforated paper music rolls which includes examples of performances by Gershwin, Grieg and Rachmaninov, unique master rolls cut by the production factories, and rolls marked by individual performers.

The scoping grant will help the Musical Museum to devise an approach to research, improve the documentation and knowledge of the content through cataloguing, and look at how to increase access to and engagement with this important collection.

Michael Ryder, Chairman of the Musical Museum said: ‘Our museum’s collection of paper music rolls is not only nationally but internationally significant, given its extent and coverage. However, we have recognised that this area of the Museum’s work needs greater direction and professional input as we try to increase access to this almost “hidden” archive of information. We are altogether delighted to receive this support from The National Archives and look forward to working with them to explore these documents.’

Archives of the Association of Ukrainian Women in Great Britain

The Association of Ukrainian Women in Great Britain (AUW) is a community organisation bringing together Ukrainian women and other women with Ukrainian connections. The completeness of this archive makes this an important collection for the study of women’s organisations in the United Kingdom. The AUW archives are held at the Leicester Ukrainian Club and consist of complete runs of minutes, correspondence, reports, publicity and photographs relating to the activities of the AUW.

The Scoping Grant will focus on supporting the AUW to develop a strategic plan for the development and care of the archive collection, and gain a better understanding of the content and condition of the collection.
Maria Finiw, Chairwoman of AUW says: ‘We are delighted to receive this grant in our 70th anniversary year, when we have been reflecting on our achievements and looking forward to the future. Our archive is a unique source for the history of Ukrainian Women in Great Britain. Female perspectives on diaspora life are often missing from official records, so we are excited to start redressing the balance with this project.’

Richard Burton Archives: Vale (Europe) Ltd, Clydach Nickel Refinery records

Vale (Europe) Ltd deposited archives relating to the Mond Nickel Works with the Richard Burton Archives in 2015. The ‘Mond’ was the largest nickel works in the world when it was built in 1902 and the collection contains a remarkably complete set of records, photographs and publications relating to the history and workings of the Mond since it opened. The Scoping Grant will help the Richard Burton Archives to develop a clear plan of the cataloguing and preservation needs of the collection and the resources needed to make the collection accessible, leading to future innovative research and public engagement projects.

Sian Williams, Head of Research Collections at Swansea University said: ‘I am delighted that the Richard Burton Archives has been successful in securing a scoping grant. The history of the “Mond” Nickel Works and the nickel industry in Wales has been conspicuous by its absence from the industrial history of 20th century Wales. This grant is a first step towards making this important collection accessible and unlocking its potential for a wide range of projects and research.’

The Cheltenham Literature Festivals Archive

The inaugural Cheltenham Literature Festival was held in 1949. The archive contains tape recordings of events from 1990 onwards alongside literary design artwork, event programmes, invitation letters and other items of interest from a host of events featuring literary greats from the past 70 years. In 2018, the archive was transferred from a basement in a Town Hall to safer storage at Gloucestershire Archives, but remains uncatalogued and inaccessible to the public.

The Scoping Grant will support Cheltenham Festivals to understand the condition and value of the archive, encourage internal advocacy for the collection, develop a plan to make the archive accessible for research, and include recommendations for potential use and public engagement.

Nicola Tuxworth, Head of Programming for the Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival says: ‘We are incredibly grateful to The National Archives for their support. The scoping grant they have awarded will give us such an important insight into the value and potential future of our archive as we develop our plans make it more accessible in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of the Festival.’

July 2018 Scoping Grants were awarded to:

Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust

Alexandra Palace has a unique and enviable history, spanning entertainment, spectacle and innovation. The main aim of the archive service is to provide greater access to the site’s history and heritage assets, to build audiences, and to foster pride and affection for the park and palace.

In order to progress the commitment to preserving the archive long term, it is necessary to undertake a review of the collections to gain an understanding of scope and establish a high level catalogue structure. The scoping grant assessment will help the interpretation, creative learning and finance teams at Alexandra Palace to allocate resources for the archive and ensure the collection is embedded within the strategic direction of the organisation. Ultimately it will enable an otherwise inaccessible archive to become open for public consultation.

Louise Stewart, Chief Executive of Alexandra Park and Palace, said: ‘It was amazing and exciting to have found the archive materials during the East Wing restoration project, but we were also aware that it brought new responsibilities. The Trust is delighted to have received support from the Archives Revealed fund so that we can now give our archive the care, attention and treatment it deserves and so that the public can enjoy it.’

Society of Antiquaries of London

The Society of Antiquaries of London is Britain’s oldest learned society concerned with the study and understanding of the material past. The Archives are an unbroken record of the Society’s existence and activities since its first formal meeting on 1 January 1718.

The Scoping Grant assessment will help the Society to write a project plan and identify the resources required to implement an archive management system to achieve the goal of cataloguing the Society’s archives and making the collection accessible to new users and new avenues of research in the understanding of Britain’s material heritage.

Paul Drury FSA, President of the Society of Antiquaries of London said:

‘The Society’s archives are of national importance in the study of our cultural heritage, recording and documenting the formation of a scholarly community, of archaeological discoveries, and the development of the disciplines of archaeology and medieval history. Cataloguing our archives to modern standards is a high priority for us and this grant is especially welcome at this early stage of deciding what needs to be done and the best way of doing it – to define a project for which we can then seek wider support.’

Morrab Library

Founded in 1818, the Morrab Library is an independent subscription library based in Penzance, Cornwall. The libraries particular focus, and strength, is in Cornish history, literature and people. The general archive has been continually enhanced since the library’s inception.

The Morrab’s collections are extensive and significant; however, few people – even within Cornwall – are aware of them. The Scoping Grant report will enable the library to write an archive development strategy to achieve its objective to be accessible to all, by bringing these secret collections to greater prominence and making them accessible to a wider public audience.
Lisa Di Tommaso, Head Librarian, said: ‘In the year in which we are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Morrab Library, we are delighted that The National Archives is looking to support us in our ambition to ensure the library continues to flourish. We are always seeking ways to showcase our remarkable collections to a wider audience across Cornwall and the UK, and encourage greater use of them as research tools. This grant provides a stepping stone to achieving this.’

Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies

The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies exists to preserve and make accessible materials about the history of the county and to tell the stories of what makes Buckinghamshire unique.

The Centre is working with The National Paralympic Heritage Trust to acquire and preserve collections relating to the Paralympic movement in the UK. The Scoping Grant will fund the assessment of The British Paralympic Association (BPA) collection. The report will help the Archivist understand what resources are required to make the collection available to researchers and develop an effective strategy for doing so.

Noel Brown, Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health at Buckinghamshire County Council, said: ‘Our county’s Paralympic heritage is hugely important and our Archives team have been working hard to widen the access to collections such as this for some time. This scoping grant recognises the work that has already taken place, and will allow the team to take more informed steps in the best ways to preserve and interpret this unique collection from the British Paralympic Association.’

Leonard Cheshire

The charity Leonard Cheshire was founded in 1948 by Group Captain Lord Leonard Cheshire VC OM: it supports individuals to live, learn and work as independently as they choose, whatever their ability. The Leonard Cheshire Archive was set up in 1985 with the aim to collect, preserve and promote the memory of its founder and the 70 year history of his work and legacy.

The sound collection contains 532 tapes and includes interviews, speeches, TV and radio appearances, music recordings, sermons from the personal sound archive of Group Captain Leonard Cheshire, as well as interviews with key members of staff, service services, residents, volunteers and trustees of all of Leonard Cheshire’s charities. The scoping grant would focus on a conservation survey and appraisal of the tapes in the sound collection, leading to a conservation plan and the development of a robust approach to further work on the collection. This will enable future cataloguing and digitisation projects to proceed without further damage to the collection.

Archivist Stephanie Nield said: ‘I am thrilled that the Leonard Cheshire Archive has been successful in getting a scoping grant for the sound collection and we hope that this grant is a first step towards securing its future and sharing it with a much wider audience.’