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The Guard Book Project – A Resource for Research

Portrait miniatures submitted for appraisal in 1939.

Well… I never knew that….. This digitisation project is providing a unique opportunity for various areas of research about the museums collections, the history of the building, exhibitions, activities, and items that were here for a short period of time for displays, or appraisals, and those that left the building never to be seen again, with examples in this blog, of […]

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What the Writer Saw: Remembering Joe Orton

August 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the untimely death of playwright, Joe Orton. Curator of Printed Books, Dr Beverley Hart, looks back at Orton’s controversial career. Monday 27 February 1967: In South Kensington, admired the architectural splendours of the Science Museum and the V&A. Joe Orton’s diary entry is followed by the approving verdict […]

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The Land of OZ: Cataloguing the Felix Dennis OZ Archive

Archive Assistant, Alice Ridgway, gives an introduction to the Felix Dennis OZ Archive and the challenges in cataloguing the collection. Earlier this year the V&A Department of Theatre and Peformance acquired the Felix Dennis OZ archive. Felix Dennis was the co-editor of the underground magazine published between 1967 and 1973. The magazine was renowned for its […]

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The Guard Book Project

Portrait of a female by Raphael, pencil drawing, said to be the model for his Madonnas

This project is the digitisation of The Guard Book Archive of Black & White Photographs taken by the Museum between 1856 – 1997. First of all what is a Guard Book?, other terms could be, an Album, Store Book, Scrapbook, Folder, Guard Box, the list could go on, but one word is important, the word Guard, to […]

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100 years of loans: The V&A and The Bowes Museum

From April to July 2017, The V&A loaned two paintings and three prints to the Bowes Museum, County Durham for their exhibition Painting the Stage: Garrick In Action. Assistant Curator, Harriet Reed, visited the museum to find out more about our regional loans programme and the two museums’ historic relationship. A visit to the Bowes […]

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Vivien Leigh in 3D

To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Vivien Leigh in 1967, Keith Lodwick highlights an area of Leigh’s archive previously unknown to the public: Leigh’s passion for 3D stereoscopic photography. The V&A acquired the archive of the legendary British film and theatre actress Vivien Leigh (1913-1967) in 2013. The archive includes many never-before-seen records […]

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A History of Oscar Wilde in Three Plays

Assistant Curator, Alex Clayton, celebrates LGBT History Month with a blog exploring the career and legacy of Oscar Wilde, using material from the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Collections. On the 31st January 2017, Queen Elizabeth II signed the Police and Crime Act. The law posthumously pardoned over 50,000 historic convictions of ‘gross indecency’ and other […]

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Guest Blog: Portable Theatre and the Arts Council of Great Britain Archive

Guest blogger, Dr Chris Megson, shares his experience of using the Theatre and Perfomance archive collections. Portable Theatre was a short-lived but influential company founded by David Hare and Tony Bicât in 1968. The company – named after the then ubiquitous ‘portable’ radio – was established as first and foremost a nomadic entity. Whilst touring […]

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Six things you didn’t know about the Society for Theatre Research (and its archive)

The V&A Department of Theatre and Performance recently acquired the 70-year archive of the Society for Theatre Research, full of correspondence, minutes, reports, manuscripts, posters, press cuttings and other ephemera – revealing histories of the campaign for university Drama departments, the abolishment of theatre censorship, and the protection of our British theatrical heritage. Assistant curator, […]

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Curios in the Archive: Elkington Family Treasures

As an Archives Assistant in the Archive of Art and Design, one task that I am charged with is the box listing and cataloguing of archives. This can be a very interesting process and sometimes leads to the cataloguer making new and exciting discoveries. This is particularly true of personal papers within our collections. One […]

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