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Band Aid Trust Collection – a new Theatre and Performance acquisition

Items from the collection, l-r: gold disc, commemorative lp, contact sheet, AAA pass & grain sack

I remember bobbing heads, more heads than I’d ever seen in one place.  I remember a man on stage; an angry man.  He had a lot of hair and was shouting at the heads.  They didn’t look scared…they looked like they were having a good time. This is how I recall the experience of watching the London […]

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Structuring the Peter Brook Collection archive tree

This diagram shows how the different archive levels fit together to form the tree.

Deciding how to structure archives can be quite a challenge. Unlike library and museum cataloguing which deals with individual items, archive cataloguing look at multiple items in relation to each other. It has different levels and they are arranged from general to specific. The lower levels relate to upper levels like a family tree. The […]

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Peter Brook – life and work in pictures 1930s-1970s

CIS:S.889-2009

21 March is Peter Brook’s 90th birthday. To celebrate we’re posting pictures from the Theatre & Performance collections documenting his life and work. Part 1 goes from his childhood until the end of the 1970s. 1. 1930s   This 19th century toy theatre print is from a popular play, The Miller and His Men which finished with […]

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Glastonbury Installation Series: Part 2, Weather

The Pyramid Stage at sunset © Helen Gush

Yesterday was the Winter Solstice: the shortest day of the year. We all feel it when the winter nights start drawing in and the days turn cold and grey. The weather changes what we choose to do with our free time, where we choose to go, how we choose to dress. Our streets change. They are […]

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What Does it Take to Work in a Museum?

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Training week for Second Year Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (CDP) students [Note: The V&A and a number of other cultural organisations co-supervise several cohorts of CDP students. CDP students are a category of AHRC-funded PhD students, who work closely with both a university and a cultural organisation and are supervised by both.] For four days in […]

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Glastonbury Installation Series: Part 1, Music

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On 27 May 2015 the V&A’s installation on the Glastonbury Festival will open in the Jaroslav Fragner Gallery in Prague, Czech Republic. This will be the V&A’s contribution to the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, taking place between 18 and 28 June 2015. The themes of this year’s Quadrennial are music, weather and […]

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Epic Object Disintegration, and Other Tales from the Registered Files

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“Director – It is my duty to report the breakage of a Glass Huqa-bowl on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum for the Royal Academy Exhibition of Indian Art.” So begins a letter dated November 21st 1947, explaining a tragic accident that took place while an object was being prepared for exhibition. “At the […]

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Peter Brook at the V&A

Peter Brook

V&A Acquires Personal Papers of Britain’s Greatest Living Theatre Director, Peter Brook “The theatre is the last forum where idealism is open to question: many audiences all over the world will answer positively from their own experience that they have seen the face of the invisible through an experience on the stage that transcended their […]

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New archive subject guide to the India Museum and Indian Collections

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Tippoo’s Tiger – a large wooden semi-automaton of a tiger devouring an unlucky European gentleman – is one of the V&A’s most popular exhibits. In the V&A Archive we’ve seen a growing interest in our documentary holdings relating to the history of the India Museum and growth of the Indian Collections. These holdings include acquisition […]

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Skeletons in the vaults; or, the V&A bone collectors

CIS:4974-1910

The Archive’s S.Ex register makes for interesting reading – but not for the reason its suggestive title may have duped us momentarily into thinking! S.Ex (or School Examples) objects were acquired for the V&A’s Circulation Department between 1882 and 1892, and used largely for still life cases, modelling or anatomical study. Of the approximately 1,200 […]

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