Arts Council of Great Britain: records, 1928-1997


Series description

Series title: Festival of Britain Files, 1946-1957
Reference: EL6
Extent: 177 items

Context

Proposals for an international exhibition to celebrate the centenary of theGreat Exhibition of 1851 were made as early as 1943, and in 1945 a committee under Lord Ramsden was appointed by the Department of Overseas Trade to consider schemes. Although the detailed recommendations of the committee were not approved, it was decided in 1947 to hold a national display illustrating the British contribution to civilisation, past, present and future, in the arts, in science and technology and in industrial design under the title ' Festival of Britain 1951'. The lord president of the Council was given responsibility for the Festival, and he appointed a Great Exhibition Centenary Committee of interested departments, to create a festival organisation, define the framework of the festival and to be responsible for liaison between government departments and the festival organisation. The latter consisted of an executive committee of officials, responsible to an honorary and advisory Council of the Festival of Britain 1951 composed of persons eminent in public life and representing the main political parties. The council included the chairmen of the national committees set up for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the chairmen of the Arts Council and the Council of Industrial Design, and of two bodies specially created for the festival, theCouncil of Science and Technology and the Council for Architecture, Town Planning and Building Research.

A Festival headquarters was set up by the Treasury in March 1948 and with an exhibition unit formed by the Central Office of Informationformed the nucleus of the Festival of Britain Office, which existed as a separate department from April 1949 to March 1953. It had its own vote which covered most of the festival expenditure, but the Ministry of Transport bore the cost of rail and road works and other transport services provided for festival sites, and grants in aid were made to the Council of Industrial Design, theArts Council, the British Film Institute and the National Museum of Wales for work underataken as part of the festival. The records of the Office were taken over by the Ministry of Works in 1953.

Scope and content

This series contains records of the Arts Council that relate to theFestival of Britain. The records contain information relating to the planning of the festival, correspondence, art exhibitions, regional festival activities, music, opera, drama, and poetry.

Records of the Festival of Britain Office and its predecessor bodies are in class WORK 25 at the Public Record Office in Kew.

Access

General information on access to archives at the V&A is available on the archive pages of the V&A website. If you are unable to see the table of contents for this online catalogue at the left of your screen, please follow this link.

Restrictions on access

Access to unpublished material less than 30 years old may be restricted and requests for access can take up to 20 working days to be processed. When applying for access, it is helpful if you can quote the reference number, title and covering dates of the file(s) in question. For very large requests you are advised to contact us to discuss your requirements. All requests should be sent by e-mail to archive@vam.ac.uk or by post to Victoria and Albert Museum Archives (ref. ACGB), Blythe House, 23 Blythe Road, London W14 0QX.


Detailed catalogue

Reference Description Dates
EL6/1 Early History of the Planning of the Festival of Britain Dec 1946 - Dec 1947
EL6/2 Festival Executive Committee Jan 1947 - July 1948
EL6/3 Winchester Festival Dec 1947 - Nov 1949
EL6/4 Office of the Lord President of the Council June 1947 - Nov 1950
EL6/5 Chester Festival Dec 1947 - Feb 1951
EL6/6 Finance : General Dec 1946 - Jan 1951
EL6/7 Regional Activities : Midlands Jan 1948 - Sept 1951
EL6/8 Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Channel Islands, Isle of Wight, Oxfordshire Jan 1949 - Mar 1951
EL6/9 Cornwall Nov 1948 - Jan 1951
EL6/10 Durham, Northumberland, Yorkshire (North Riding) June 1948 - Feb 1951
EL6/11 Eastern Counties May 1948 - Feb 1951
EL6/12 Regional Activities : Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex Sept 1948 - Sept 1951
EL6/13 Regional Activities : North and East Midlands Sept 1948 - Sept 1951
EL6/14 North-Western Counties Feb 1949 - Oct 1951
EL6/15 Regional Activities : West Sept 1948 - Oct 1951
EL6/16 Research into music played at the 1851 Great Exhibition 1948
EL6/17 Director of Architecture : correspondence Nov 1948 - Sept 1949
EL6/18 Greenwich Festival Nov 1948 - Sept 1949
EL6/19 Isle of Man Aug 1948 - Apr 1949
EL6/20 Publicity Planning Group : Minutes Nov 1948 - May 1949
EL6/21 Chairman's correspondence Jan 1947 - Jan 1949.
EL6/22 Chairman's correspondence Feb 1949 - Oct 1949
EL6/23 Correspondence with the Director General, Gerald Barry Apr 1948 - Aug 1950
EL6/24 Durham Festival Sept 1948 - Apr 1950
EL6/25 Correspondence with the Secretary, Leonard Crainford May 1948 - May 1950
EL6/26 Lincoln Festival Nov 1948 - Oct 1950
EL6/27 Stoke-on-Trent Festival Aug 1948 - June 1950
EL6/28 Tudor Singers Apr 1948 - Dec 1950
EL6/29 Art : General Apr 1948 - Oct 1949
EL6/30 Art : General Nov 1949 - Dec 1950
EL6/31 Art : General Oct 1949 - Aug 1951
EL6/32 Bournemouth and Wessex Regional Festival May 1948 - Mar 1950
EL6/33 Bournemouth and Wessex Regional Festival Apr 1950 - Nov 1951
EL6/34 Brighton Regency Festival Apr 1948 - May 1950
EL6/35 Brighton Regency Festival May 1950 - Aug 1951
EL6/36 Cambridge Festival June 1948 - Aug 1951
EL6/37 Chichester - Festival of Sussex Sept 1948 - Mar 1951
EL6/38 Colchester Festival Nov 1948 - Aug 1951
EL6/39 Coventry Festival June 1948 - June 1951
EL6/40 Hull Festival Aug 1948 - May 1951
EL6/41 Leamington Festival July 1948 - June 1951
EL6/42 Liverpool and Birkenhead Festival Jan 1948 - Apr 1950
EL6/43 Liverpool and Birkenhead Festival May 1950 - Jan 1951
EL6/44 Manchester Festival May 1949 - Sept 1951
EL6/45 Music Commissioning : General May 1948 - Feb 1951
EL6/46 Music Commissioning : William Alwyn Oct 1949 - Aug 1951
EL6/47 Music Commissioning : Sir Arnold Bax Mar 1949 - Dec 1950
EL6/48 Music Commissioning : Arthur Bliss Mar 1949 - Dec 1950
EL6/49 Music Commissioning : Sir George Dyson Oct 1949 - Jan 1951
EL6/50 Music Commissioning : Dr John Ireland July 1949 - Oct 1949
EL6/51 Music Commissioning : Gordon Jacob Mar 1949 - Mar 1951
EL6/52 Music Commissioning : Constant Lambert Mar 1949 - Oct 1949
EL6/53 Music Commissioning : Alan Rawsthorne Nov 1949 - June 1951
EL6/54 Music Commissioning : Edmund Rubbra Mar 1949 - June 1951
EL6/55 Music Commissioning : Richard Vaughan Williams Jan 1949 - Feb 1950
EL6/56 Music Commissioning : Thomas Wood Mar 1949 - May 1951
EL6/57 National Brass Band Club Oct 1948 - Oct 1951
EL6/58 Norwich Festival Apr 1948 - Apr 1950
EL6/59 Norwich Festival May 1950 - Oct 1951
EL6/60 Photography of Regional Events Oct 1948 - Oct 1951
EL6/61 Scotland Dec 1948 - Oct 1951
EL6/62 Southampton Festival Mar 1948 - Feb 1951
EL6/63 Suggestions for Events July 1948 - Aug 1949
EL6/64 Suggestions for Events Aug 1949 - July 1951
EL6/65 Workers' Music Association Dec 1948 - Aug 1951
EL6/66 Music : General May 1946 - Feb 1951
EL6/67 Music : General Feb 1950 - Mar 1952
EL6/68 Oxford Festival July 1948 - Jan 1952
EL6/69 Opera Commissions : Arthur Benjamin's 'A Tale of Two Cities' Mar 1949 - Nov 1951
EL6/70 Opera Commissions : Alan Bush's 'Wat Tyler' Feb 1949 - Sept 1954
EL6/71 Opera Commissions : Benjamin Britten's 'Billy Budd' and general correspondence Dec 1948 - Dec 1950
EL6/72 Opera Commissions (and Competition) : General Jan 1950 - Feb 1954
EL6/73 Opera Commissions : Berthold Goldschmidt's 'Beatrice Cenci' Mar 1949 - Sept 1951
EL6/74 Opera Commissions : Karl Rankl's 'Diedre of the Sorrows' Mar 1949 - June 1951
EL6/75 Opera Commissions :'Wat Tyler' Audition of 26 November 1950 Nov 1950 - Dec 1950
EL6/76 Festival of Britain : General Dec 1948 - Dec 1949
EL6/77 Festival of Britain : General Jan 1950 - May 1951
EL6/78 Festival of Britain : General May 1951 - Nov 1957
EL6/79 Brass Bands (Oldham's Press Championship Contest) Aug 1949 - Sept 1949
EL6/80 London Concert Promoting Bodies' Meeting Apr 1949
EL6/81 National Music Organisations' Meeting Apr 1949
EL6/82 The Plainsong and Medieval Music Society June 1949 - Oct 1949
EL6/83 Purcell Society Feb 1949
EL6/84 Sir John Soame Museum July 1949 - Oct 1949
EL6/85 Tewkesbury Festival June 1949
EL6/86 Battersea Civic Arts Trust Dec 1949 - Sept 1950
EL6/87 Conference of Festival Representatives Nov 1949 - Nov 1950
EL6/88 Musical Activities in Parks July 1949 - Aug 1950
EL6/89 Dr E. Mincoff-Marriage : Publication grant for English Traditional Songs of the 18th and 19th Centuries Feb 1949 - Mar 1950
EL6/90 Apollo Society Dec 1949 - July 1951
EL6/91 Bach Choir: Royal Albert Hall concert 1949-1951
EL6/92 Ballet commissions. Includes Richard Arnell's 'Harlequin in April' and Constant Lambert's 'Tiresias' Jan 1949 - June 1951
EL6/93 Church Committee May 1949 - June 1951
EL6/94 Festival Opening and Royal Visits Jan 1949 - Mar 1951
EL6/95 Huddersfield Choral Society June 1949 - July 1951
EL6/96 Organ Music Society July 1949 - Aug 1951
EL6/97 Pipers' Guild May 1949 - June 1951
EL6/98 Progress Reports to Director General Apr 1949 - Aug 1951
EL6/99 Renaissance Society May 1949 - Oct 1951
EL6/100 Royal Choral Society Feb 1949 - Oct 1951
EL6/101 Royal Musical Association : Publication of Musica Britannica June 1949 - May 1951
EL6/102 Shrewsbury Festival Nov 1949 - Oct 1951
EL6/103 South London Bach Society Mar 1949 - July 1951
EL6/104 Wormington Festival Dec 1949 - Mar 1951
EL6/105 Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths Jan 1949 - Apr 1951
EL6/106 Yorkshire Festival Choir Sept 1949 - June 1951
EL6/107 St. David's Festival Feb 1949 - May 1952
EL6/108 Tenterden Festival May 1949 - Jan 1952
EL6/109 Theatre Companies A-B : correspondence 1949-1952
EL6/110 Theatre Companies C : correspondence 1949-1951
EL6/111 Theatre Companies D-K : correspondence 1949-1952
EL6/112 Theatre Companies L-M : correspondence 1949-1952
EL6/113 Theatre Companies N-P : correspondence 1949-1952
EL6/114 Theatre Companies Q-S : correspondence 1949-1952
EL6/115 Theatre Companies T-Z : correspondence 1949-1952
EL6/116 Wales : Commissions Mar 1949 - May 1952
EL6/117 Wales Feb 1949 - Dec 1949
EL6/118 Wales Jan 1950 - Dec 1950
EL6/119 Wales Jan 1951 - Oct 1951
EL6/120 Poetry Competition Apr 1949 - Nov 1949
EL6/121 Poetry Competition July 1949 - Jan 1951
EL6/122 Poetry Competition Jan 1951 - July 1954
EL6/123 Poetry Competition : Publication of winning poems June 1951 - Dec 1951
EL6/124 Poetry Competition : Publication of winning poems Jan 1952 - June 1955
EL6/125 Poetry Competition : Selection of winners Sept 1950 - May 1951
EL6/126 Poetry Competition : Selection of winners June 1951
EL6/127 Chelsea Exhibition 1950
EL6/128 Geraldo Orchestra Feb 1950 - Sept 1950
EL6/129 Haselmere Festival Sept 1950 - Dec 1950
EL6/130 Impressarios' and Concert Promoters' Meeting Mar 1950 - Apr 1950
EL6/131 Rochester Jan 1950 - Feb 1950
EL6/132 St. Albans Apr 1950 - Aug 1950
EL6/133 Arts Council Press Handouts 1950-1951
EL6/134 Birmingham Festival Nov 1950 - June 1951
EL6/135 Embroiders' Guild Mar 1940 - Aug 1951
EL6/136 English Music Historical Concert Series Feb 1950 - Sept 1951
EL6/137 English Song Series Dec 1950 - Oct 1951
EL6/138 Finance Committee 1950
EL6/139 Finance Committee 1950
EL6/140 Finance Committee 1950-1951
EL6/141 Goldsmiths' Choral Union Mar 1950 - Feb 1951
EL6/142 International Progressive Artists Community Sept 1950 - Feb 1951
EL6/143 Keswick North Lakeland Festival Nov 1950 - Oct 1951
EL6/144 London Choral Society Nov 1950 - May 1951
EL6/145 London Concert Season : Grants and Guarantees July 1950 - Oct 1951
EL6/146 National Federation of Music Societies July 1950 - Dec 1951
EL6/147 National Institute for the Blind Oct 1950 - Sept 1951
EL6/148 Newcastle-upon-Tyne Festival Mar 1950 - July 1951
EL6/149 St. Michael's Singers Feb 1950 - June 1951
EL6/150 Schools Music Association of Great Britain Apr 1950 - July 1951
EL6/151 Thames Exhibition July 1950 - Jan 1951
EL6/152 University of London Musical Society Oct 1950 - July 1951
EL6/153 Wellingborough Festival Sept 1950 - Jan 1951
EL6/154 Women's International Art Club Jan 1950 - Apr 1951
EL6/155 Young Men's Christian Association June 1950 - Oct 1951
EL6/156 Art in the Service of the Church Exhibition Oct 1950 - Feb 1952
EL6/157 Drama : General Nov 1950 - Mar 1952
EL6/158 Drama : General Dec 1949 - May 1950
EL6/159 Drama : General June 1950 - Dec 1950
EL6/160 Drama : General Jan 1951 - Nov 1951
EL6/161 Drama : Performance reports June 1951 - Sept 1951
EL6/162 Helmsley Festival Oct 1950 - Jan 1952
EL6/163 London Season Information : Art June 1950 - Apr 1951
EL6/164 London Season Information : Drama Dec 1950 - Mar 1951
EL6/165 London Season Information : Music Aug 1950 - May 1951
EL6/166 London Season Information : Opera and Ballet June 1950 - Mar 1951
EL6/167 London Season Information : Orchestras Jan 1951 - Feb 1952
EL6/168 Royal Military School of Music Mar 1950 - Apr 1952
EL6/169 London Season Concert bookings : May 1951
EL6/170 London Season Concert bookings : June-August 1951
EL6/171 London School of Economics: concert 1951
EL6/172 Official Souvenir Programme for the London Season of the Arts and a Special Supplement detailing events as part of the Arts in the Festival of Britain 1951
EL6/173 Royal Festival Hall Afternoon Concerts Feb 1951 - July 1951
EL6/174 Royal Festival Hall Afternoon Concerts : Programmes May 1951 - June 1951
EL6/175 Society of Women Musicians Jan 1951 - Oct 1951
EL6/176 Westminster Abbey Feb 1951 - Apr 1951
EL6/177 Disposal of Festival Surplus Mar 1952