Online access to Special Collections & Archives at Kent aided by funding grant

Exciting news for us (and for you)! 

Programme for the pantomime Dick Whittington, performed at Drury Lane theatre. The lavishly illustrated cover depicts hoards of people parading through a traditional town street.

Programme for the pantomime Dick Whittington, performed at Drury Lane theatre

University of Kent’s Special Collections & Archives service has been awarded over £110,000 to assist with the digitising of its collections, through the Capability for Collections (CapCo) fund, administered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Special Collections & Archives, based in the Templeman Library, Canterbury campus, preserve and manage the University’s unique and distinctive collections so that they are accessible for the benefit of teaching, scholarship and society. Collections include the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive and British Cartoon Archive. They are proud to hold Archive Service Accreditation from the National Archives in recognition of their professional standards in acquiring, preserving and providing access to the collections.

Karen Brayshaw, Special Collections & Archives Manager explains:

“The funding will allow us to purchase vital digitising equipment to help with providing online access to the recently deposited Beaverbrook Foundation’s collection of original cartoon artworks and digitising the highly visual original costume designs, theatre playbills and posters from the David Drummond Pantomime Collection”.

The grant will also support collaborative opportunities across the Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries (ICCI) and Eastern ARC, enabling the University to participate in future special collections and archives digitisation projects.

Main image: Illustrated programme for the pantomime Dick Whittington at Drury Lane Theatre from the David Drummond Collection.

Further Information:

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is investing £213m to expand and upgrade existing research infrastructure to help UK researchers tackle major challenges such as COVID-19 research and recovery, and net zero goals.
  • The projects, spread across the UK, will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology, and cement the UK’s position as a world-leading research and innovation superpower.
  • The investment will ensure the UK is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate. This will help to power up economic recovery and level up the UK.
  • The £213m, from the government’s World Class Labs funding scheme and made through eight of UKRI’s constituent research councils, covers investments in all disciplines from physical sciences to arts and humanities.
  • This includes a landmark £15m investment in the arts and humanities which will go to securing the future of the UK’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums.
  • UKRI is investing £15m in the Capability in Collections fund as part of the World Class Labs project.

Kent’s Special Collections and Archives hold over 150 collections including:

  • The British Stand-Up Comedy Archive and popular and comic performance from the Victorian era to the present, including pantomime, melodrama and variety works including the David Drummond Pantomime Collection
  • The British Cartoon Archive and other cartoon artwork and publications, particularly satirical works
  • The history of the University of Kent and the local area
  • Photographs, scrapbooks, engineer records, and published books relating to wind and watermills
  • Collections of 20th century prose and poetry first editions.

For further information contact Karen Brayshaw, Special Collections & Archives Manager.

Boxes of archive material from the David Drummond Pantomime collection in the stores.

Materials from the David Drummond Pantomime Collection, awaiting digitisation.

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