Victoria and Albert Museum

Arts Council of Great Britain: records, 1928-1997


Introduction and summary description

Creator: Arts Council of Great Britain
Reference: ACGB
Extent: ca. 26,500 files in 134 series

Context

The Committee for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts was established in January 1940, as a result of an informal conference held at the Board of Education in December 1939. It consisted of the following members; Lord Macmillan, Thomas Jones, Sir Kenneth Clark, Sir Walford Davies, Dr Reginald Jacques, L. du Garde Peach, Mary Glasgow and W.E. Williams. Later Thelma Cazalet, J. Wilkie, D. Du B. Davidson and H.B. Wallis also became members. The initial objective of the committee was to give financial assistance to cultural societies finding difficulty in maintaining their activities during the War. The committee was funded by £25,000 from the Pilgrim Trust, of which Lord Macmillan and Dr Thomas Jones were also the chairman and secretary respectively.

In 1940 the committee, enlarged by the inclusion of several new members, was formally appointed as the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA) by Lord De La Warr, President of the Board of Education. The new Council began to receive direct funding from the government.

In 1945 it was announced that CEMA would continue as a permanent peace time body under the name Arts Council of Great Britain and a Royal Charter of Incorporation was granted in 1946. The main objective of the Council was to develop accessibility to and greater knowledge, understanding and practice of the fine arts. The Arts Council's government grant was administered by the Treasury until 1965, and then by the Department of Education and Science.

The Arts Council operated under this charter until 1967 when a new Charter of Incorporation was granted. The 1967 Charter redefined the objectives of the Arts Council as: to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts; to increase the accessibility of the arts to the public throughout Great Britain and to advise and co-operate with departments of Government, local authorities and other bodies on any matters concerned, whether directly or indirectly, with the foregoing objects.

In 1994 the Arts Council of Great Britain was split to become the Arts Council of England, Arts Council of Scotland and Arts Council of Wales. Scotland and Wales had however always been virtually autonomous and, under the 1967 Charter, the functions of the Arts Council of Great Britain in Scotland and Wales had been carried out by two committees known as the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils.

At the time of its division into three separate Arts Councils, the Arts Council of Great Britain consisted of three parts; the Council itself, the advisory bodies and the executive. Both the Council and the advisory bodies were made up of unpaid members. The Council was the governing body for the organisation and, when it determined that it was necessary, it appointed separate advisory panels and committees to provide it with specialist advice. The first advisory bodies appeared in 1942 when panels were set up for Music, Art and Drama, but their number rapidly increased as the organisation developed.

The chief executive officer of the Arts Council of Great Britain was the Secretary-General. He was appointed by the Council who could also appoint other officers. Initially this paid staff was small, but it grew rapidly. In 1980 there were 266 staff in England divided between sections dealing with press and education and eight departments, dealing with Art, Dance, Drama, Finance, Literature, Music, Personnel and Administration and Regional matters. During the 1980s and 1990s the executive underwent many re-organisations and, in March 1994, it had 19 departments and units divided between three divisions. Scotland and Wales had separate, but similar executives which serviced the Scottish and Welsh Arts Councils.

The Arts Council of Great Britain supported the arts with subsidy and advice. Until the mid 1980s it also undertook a certain amount of direct promotion, administering the Wigmore Hall, putting on exhibitions at the Hayward and Serpentine Galleries and running the Arts Council Shop in London.

Scope and content

This group of archives has been divided into six sub-groups. Three of these are based on the administrative structure of the Arts Council of Great Britain as on 31 March 1994. The other three reflect previous custodial divisions of the archive.

The six sub-groups are therefore as follows: Arts Development Division (1928-1997), Finance and Resources Division (1940-1996), Policy and External Relations Division (1951-1996, Hayward Gallery Material (1935-1997), National Resource Centre for Dance Material (1953-1989), Public Record Office Material (1939-1985).

Provenance

Gift of the Arts Council of England, 1996.

Access

General information on access to material in the Archive of Art and Design is available on the archive pages of the NAL website.

Restrictions on access

Access to unpublished material less than 30 years old (50 years in the case of series ACGB/81 and ACGB/117) is subject to the written permission of the Arts Council of England. Apply in the first instance to the Archive of Art and Design at the Victoria and Albert Museum.


Historical background and structure of the archive

Arts Development Division, 1928-1997
Extent: 55 series
Context:
The Arts Development Division was created in 1991, with Ian Reid as its Director. The division contained the following departments and units; Combined Arts, Dance, Drama, Film, Video and Broadcasting, Literature, Music, Touring, Visual Arts and the four cross-departmental units of; Arts and Disability, Cultural Diversity, Education and Training.
Previously these departments and units had formed part of the Arts Division (created 1985/86) with the exception of the four cross-departmental units which had formed part of the Services Division (also created 1985/86). The Arts Division had been headed by a Director: Arts Co-ordination.
Scope and content:
This sub-group contains the following sections: Combined Arts Unit; Dance Department; Drama Department; Film, Video and Broadcasting Department; Literature Department; Music Department; Touring Department; Visual Arts Department and Cross-Departmental Units.

Combined Arts Unit, 1986-1996
Extent: 3 series
Context:
From 1979/80 Combined Arts was part of the Regional Department, but in the 1985/86 restructuring it became a separate unit within the newly created Arts Division. It was responsible for arts centres, performance and other combined and community arts. It serviced the Advisory Committee on Combined Arts, which existed between 1986 and ca.1987.
In 1988 the Combined Arts Unit was disbanded. Arts centres and community arts had been fully devolved to the RAAs and responsibility for performance art was transferred to the Visual Arts Department, who had previously dealt with it in the 1970s. This left the unit with three clients; Free Form, the Notting Hill Carnival and the Institute of Contemporary Art. The first of these was transferred to the Visual Arts Department, with the later two becoming the direct responsibility of the Director: Arts Co-ordination, who reported on them to the Arts Council itself.
In 1989/90 a Multidisciplinary and Arts Centres Committee was formed and it was to this advisory body that the Director: Arts Co-ordination had to report, not only on the Notting Hill Carnival and ICA, but also the South Bank Board and the Roundhouse, who had been added to the client list. (The South Bank Board had been a committee of the Arts Council formed to manage the South Bank following the abolition of the GLC, but from March 1988 it became an independent organisation in receipt of subsidy).
Finally, in 1991 a new Combined Arts Unit was formed within the new Arts Development Division. It had responsibility for the ICA, the Notting Hill Carnival, the South Bank, International Initiatives, New Collaborations, Live Art and Youth Funds. At the same time the Advisory Committee on Combined Arts was also reformed.
Scope and content:
The records of the Combined Arts Unit comprise the following series:
Policy and Information Files, 1986-1996 (ref. ACGB/88)
Head of Combined Arts Unit's Files, 1991-1995 (ref. ACGB/83)
New Collaborations Fund, 1991-1996 (ref. ACGB/82)

Dance Department, 1966-1996
Extent: 4 series
Context:
The Arts Council did not have a truly separate Dance Department until 1979/80. Previously dance had always come under the aegis of the Music Department and the Music Panel, except for a brief period during 1947/48 when the short-lived Opera and Ballet Panel was in existence. From 1970/71 a separate Ballet (later Dance Theatre) Sub-Committee of the Music Panel was formed to deal with dance. This state of affairs continued until 1977/78 when dance was finally recognised as a separate art form and was given its own Dance Advisory Committee. At the same time the Music Department was enlarged and changed its name to the Music and Dance Department. Then in 1979/80 the Dance Advisory Committee was upgraded to a full panel and a separate Dance Department was formed with its own Director. Jane Nicholas was the first holder of this post.
Mime was initially treated as dance and during the early 1980s it became increasing popular. As a result the Department's name was changed to the Dance and Mime Department and the Dance Panel became the Advisory Panel on Dance and Mime. However fom Spring 1989 responsibility for mime was transferred to Drama Department and the department and panel names were changed back accordingly.
Committees and Sub-Committees of the Dance Panel included: the Dance Theatre for Young People Sub-Committee (1977/78-1978/79), the New Dance and Mime Sub-Committee (1977/78-1978/89), the Dance (and Mime) Projects and Awards Sub-Committee(1979/80-1989/90), the Dance (and Mime) Education and Outreach Committee (1985/86-) and the Dance Development Advisory Team (1991/92-).
As well as supporting its annual and revenue clients, other awards and schemes supported by the Dance Department included: bursaries, commission fees, Composers Awards for Dance, Dance and Mime Outreach Projects and Awards, Dance Artists in Education, the Management Placement Scheme and Project Grants.
Scope and content:
The Dance Department's records comprise the following series:
Client Funding Administration,1978-1995 (ref. ACGB/27)
Individuals and Organisations,1968-1995 (ref. ACGB/28)
Policy and Information files,1966-1996 (ref. ACGB/26)
Regional Material,1984-1995 (ref. ACGB/25)
See also:
Dance Department Files: First Deposit, 1953-1985 (ref. ACGB/125)
Dance Department Files: Second Deposit, 1964-1989 (ref. ACGB/126)
Dance Department Files: Third Deposit, 1979-1989 (ref. ACGB/127)
Dance Department Files: Fourth Deposit, 1967-1989 (ref. ACGB/128)

Drama Department, 1928-1995
Extent: 9 series
Context:
The Drama Department was mainly responsible for administering grants to and assessing the work of the Council's revenue and annual drama clients and for administering project grants and awards. It also operated the Council's schemes to encourage new writing for the theatre, which had started in 1952. From Spring 1989 the Drama Department took over responsibility for mime from Dance.
In the early days of the department some direct promotion had also taken place, with the department administering its own tours of productions around the country. This practice was inherited from CEMA and was soon abandoned in 1959/60.
The 1950s also saw the Drama Department interesting itself in training and this interest was formalised in the early 1970s when a number of advisory working parties and groups were formed. These parties and groups were co-ordinated by a Training Committee which reported to the Drama Panel. In 1974 however, the sphere of operations of this committee was expanded to include other art forms and hence it became directly responsible to the Arts Council itself.
The Drama Department serviced the following advisory panels and committees: Drama Advisory Panel (1945 onwards), Experimental Drama Committee (later Fringe and Experimental Drama Committee) (1971/72-1974/75), New Drama Committee (1970/71-1974/75), New Writing Committee (later Theatre Writing and Bursaries Committee (1975/76 onwards), Projects and New Applications Committee (later Projects Committee) (1975/76 onwards), Standards and Reassessment Committee (later Review Committee) (1975/76-1977/78), Young People's Theatre Committee (1971/72-1974/75) and Young People's Theatre Panel (1966/67-1969/70).
It also serviced the following advisory bodies during the early 1970s: Theatre Technicians' Working Party (later Technicians and Stage Management Working Group) (1970/71-1978/79), Directors' Working Group (1970/71-1978/79), Designers' Working Group(1970/71-1978/79), Drama Schools Working Group (later Performers' Working Group) (1970/71-1978/79), Theatre Administration Working Party (1970/71) and Training Committee (1970/71 onwards).
Scope and content:
The Drama Department's records comprise the following series:
Client Funding Administration, 1944-1995 (ref. ACGB/41)
Drama General, 1944-1995 (ref. ACGB/38)
Individuals and Organisations, 1942-1995 (ref.ACGB/34)
Manuals, 1943-1992 (ref. ACGB/42)
Policy and Information Files, 1928-1994 (ref. ACGB/43)
Regional Material, 1971-1993 (ref. ACGB/44)
Theatre Writing, 1950-1991 (ref. ACGB/40)
Tour Files, 1942-1960 (ref. ACGB/37)
Young People's Theatre, 1967-1995 (ref. ACGB/39)

Film, Video and Broadcasting Department, 1950-1997
Extent: 5 series
Context:
The Film, Video and Broadcasting Department was formed in 1986. Previously the Council's activities in film had been the responsibility of the Visual Arts Department.
The department's main area of activity was the direct support of the production and distribution of film/video including arts documentaries and artists films. It also operated a film sales office which distributed specialised arts films for Channel 4 and independent producers and also its own arts documentaries, which were mainly produced by independent production companies and co-funded with television. Distribution of artists films was concentrated through the Film and Video Umbrella, which the department financed in association with others.
In the late 1980s the department developed a home video catalogue for loans through public libraries and co-funded a project with the Gulbenkian Foundation to improve arts organisations' use of video, particularly as a promotional tool.
The Film, Video and Broadcasting Department serviced the following advisory panels and committees: Advisory Panel on Film, Video and Broadcasting (1985/86 onwards), Artists' Film and Video Committee (1985/86 onwards) and Arts Film Production Committee (1985/86 onwards).
Scope and content:
The records of this department comprise the following series:
Client Funding Administration, 1966-1995 (ref. ACGB/55)
Individual and Organisations, 1954-1993 (rerf. ACGB/58)
Major Direct Promotions, 1950-1993 (ref. ACGB/56)
Policy and Information Files, 1951-1997 (ref. ACGB/54)
Regional Material, 1977-1991 (ref. ACGB/57)

Literature Department., 1937-1997
Extent: 5 series
Context:
A separate department for Literature was created in 1966. It had very few annual revenue clients, but did give grants to writers, literary magazines, presses and publishers. It also administered the Compton Poetry Fund which was started by a bequest from Joseph Compton in 1965/66. In 1963 it became connected with the National Manuscripts Collection for Contemporary Writers and provided subsidy to help with its purchases.
Other schemes which the department undertook included: Writers in Schools (late 1960s onwards); Fellowships in Creative Writing (from 1974/75); schemes to aid non-profit-distributing bookshops (1976 onwards) and the augmentation of existing prizes (from 1978/79).
The department also carried out a considerable amount of direct provision, including: the organisation of Writers' Tours (from 1967/68), the publication of anthologies of New Poetry and New Stories (from the mid 1970s) and the running of the Poetry Library. The Poetry Library was open to the general public free of charge and was for many years housed at 105, Piccadilly before moving to the Arts Council Shop in Covent Garden. The Literature Department took control of the shop in 1980, but by 1985/86 negotiations were underway to relocate the Library and for new management to take over the shop. The Library was eventually moved to the Royal Festival Hall and administered by the South Bank Board, although the Arts Council retained ownership.
The mid 1980s saw a reduction in the department's grant and this led to the discontinuation of the Writers' Tours, augmentation of existing prizes scheme, Writers in Residence and grants to bookshops and book ordering points in libraries. However, this reduction was reversed soon after and 1986/87 saw the appointment of Alistair Niven as the first full-time Director of the department.
The Literature Department serviced the following advisory panels and committees: Community Bookshops Working Party (1975/76), Fiction Book Club Sub-Committee (1971/72), Literary Magazines Sub-Committee (1971/72-1972/73), Literature Panel (formerly Poetry Panel) (1949/50 onwards), National Manuscripts Collection for Contemporary Writers' Committee(1970/71-1978/79), Publishing Imprint Sub-Committee (1975/76), Translation Sub-Committee (1971/72) and Writers in Factories Sub-Committee (1971/72).
Scope and content:
The records of the Literature Department comprise the following series:
Client Funding Administration, 1955-1993 (ref. ACGB/60)
Individual and Organisations, 1947-1994 (ref. ACGB/62)
Major Direct Promotions, 1952-1987 (ref. ACGB/63)
Policy and Information Files, 1937-1997 (ref. ACGB/59)
Regional Material, 1952-1992 (ref. ACGB/61)

Music Department, 1936-1995
Extent: 5 series
Context:
The work of the Music Department initially covered the areas, not only of music and opera, but also of dance. This state of affairs continued until 1979/80 when a separate Dance Department was set up.
The department was therefore broadly concerned with the funding and assessment of awards to artists, contemporary and early music, dance companies (until 1979/80), festivals, jazz, opera, orchestras and recordings. It also administered a number of trust funds that were set up to help the advanced training of musicians and, at one time, provided loans and support for the purchase of musical instruments and the rennovation of grand pianos.
Direct promotion was undertaken in the form of Opera for All, the Contemporary Music Network and the management of Wigmore Hall. Opera for All started in the late 1940s and involved the touring of small groups performing opera with piano accompaniment in venues where opera would not otherwise be seen. Initially planned and financed by the department, responsibility for it was eventually devolved to a subsidised organisation. Equally responsibility for the Contemporary Music Network, a national touring scheme for new music started in the early 1970s, was eventually transferred to the Touring Department. Finally the management of Wigmore Hall was carried out by the Music Department between 1946 and 1986/87, when Westminster City Council took over the lease.
Aid for choral and chamber music was initially channelled through the National Federation of Music Societies and later through the Regional Arts Associations. Finally, from 1971, the Music Department was also responsible for the work of the British Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music.
The Music Department serviced the following advisory panels and committees: Committee for the British Section of the International Society of Contemporary Music (1972/73-1979/80), General Sub-Committee (1970/71-1978/79), Jazz Sub-Committee(1970/71-1978/79), London Orchestras Programmes Committee (1971/72), Music Advisory Panel (1946 onwards), Music Awards and Bursaries Sub-Committee (1979/80), Music Projects and Awards Committee (1985/86-1990/91), New Music Sub-Committee(1981/82-1984/85), Opera Sub-Committee (1971/72-1978/79), Piano Sub-Committee (1971/72-1973/74) and Recording Sub-Committee (1970/71).
Scope and content:
The records of the Music Department comprise the following series:
Client Funding Administration, 1948-1995 (ref. ACGB/49)
Individual and Organisations, 1936-1995 (ref. ACGB/50)
Music Director's Files, 1964-1989 (ref. ACGB/53)
Policy and Information Files, 1943-1995 (ref. ACGB/51)
Regional Material, 1965-1994 (ref. ACGB52/)

Touring Department, 1933-1996
Extent: 12 series
Context:
In 1970 Jack Phipps and a small staff were appointed by the Council to run a scheme to organise the touring of opera, ballet and drama. The scheme was known as DALTA as a result of the Council taking over the formerly independent Dramatic and Lyric Theatre Association. The associated advisory body was the Theatre Touring Committee (1970/71-1971/72).
In 1973/74 Touring became absorbed within the Regional Departmentand a new advisory body, the Touring Committee, was formed. Initially a sub-committee of the Regional Committee, this body was reconstituted in 1974/75 to report directly to Council. At the same time the name DALTA was gradually replaced with the more understandable ' Arts CouncilTouring'.
In 1975/76 the Regional Department was disbanded and a separate Touring Department was formed. It existed until 1979/80, when Touring was once again absorbed within a new Regional Department. Thus the Touring Advisory Committee also reverted to being a Touring Sub-Committee of the Regional Advisory Committee.
The next restructuring took place in 1985/86. Touring became a separate department in the Arts Division, Jack Phipps was appointed Controller of Touring and an Advisory Board: Touring replaced the Touring Sub-Committee. An additional Touring Projects Committee also enjoyed a brief existence, 1986/87-1989/90.
The main responsibility of the department was to operate a touring programme in opera, dance, drama and contemporary music, chiefly, but not exclusively, to large and middle scale venues in England, excluding London. It also operated the Contemporary Music Network (which did include London) and thus served the Contemporary Music Network Advisory Committee. As dance companies were often also touring companies there was considerable overlap with the Dance Department.
The Touring Department also had its own clients and awarded project grants. In 1988/89 they received £600,000 of extra government money as the New Great Britain Touring Fund to provide additional touring of all art forms.
Scope and content:
The records of the Touring Department comprise the following series:
Audience Development Files, 1984-1995 (ref. ACGB/95)
Early Touring Department Files, 1961-1982 (ref. ACGB/98)
Deputy Director's Files, 1981-1988 (ref. ACGB/92)
General Touring Drama Files, 1981-1987 (ref. ACGB/99)
Individuals and Organisations, 1965-1995 (ref. ACGB/102)
Marketing Leaflets, 1977-1990 (ref. ACGB/94)
Opera and Dance Files, 1970-1989 (ref. ACGB/97)
Performance Administration, 1969-1989 (ref. ACGB/93)
Policy and Information Files, 1933-1996 (ref. ACGB/100)
Theatre Touring Officer's Files, 1971-1987 (ref. ACGB/96)
Touring Contemporary Music Network Files, 1977-1990 (ref. ACGB/91)
Touring Marketing Files, 1974-1985 (ref. ACGB/101)

Visual Arts Department, 1942-1996
Extent: 5 files
Context:
The Visual Arts Department (originally known as the Art Department) was unusual in that it undertook to support art directly through its own activities, rather than indirectly through the funding of others. This was known as direct promotion.
The main area in which direct promotion took place was the provision of exhibitions. Both by itself and in collaboration with others the Visual Arts Department organised many exhibitions in London and for the regions. In the early years many of the London based exhibitions were put on at the Tate, but later the department managed its own exhibition spaces at the Hayward (opened 1968) and the Serpentine Gallery (opened 1970). The basis for many of these exhibitions was the Arts Council Collection. The Visual Arts Department felt that one of the best ways to support artists was by the actual purchase of their work and these purchases formed the Arts CouncilCollection.
Despite the emphasis on direct promotion, the Visual Arts Departmentdid still have its clients and administer grant-in-aid. They funded various galleries, gave bursaries to artists, helped to provide and convert studio space and gave grants to publishers. They also supported art films, performance art and photography.
In the area of art films and photography however, there was once again a certain amount of direct promotion. For example, from 1950 the department orgainsed its own art film tours, and from 1956 it also commissioned films. Initially these were only about art, but from the mid 1970s the remit was widened to include any art form covered by the Arts Council. Then again, in photography, for which funds were first made available in 1969, direct promotion took place in the form of exhibitions, publications and purchasing for the Collection.
Several changes took place in the Visual Arts Department during the 1980s which narrowed its scope and reduced direct promotion. Firstly, responsibility for art films was transferred to the newly formed Film, Video and Broadcasting Department in 1986. Secondly the Serpentine Gallerybecame an independent trust in August 1987. Then again, in March 1987, a split was made between those staff putting on exhibitions and looking after the Arts Council Collection and those administering grant-in-aid. The former became the responsibility of the South Bank Board (1984/85-1986/87) whilst the later remained part of the Visual Arts Department. Finally, in April 1988 the Hayward Gallery became fully independent as part of the South Bank Centre.
This narrowing of scope was counteracted to some extent in the early 1990s, when an architecture unit was formed within the department for a trial period of three years.
The Visual Arts Department serviced the following advisory panels and committees: Advisory Group on Photography (1982/83 onwards), Architecture Advisory Group (1992 onwards), Art Film Committee (later Arts Films Advisory Committee) (1970/71-1984/85), Artists' Films Sub-Committee (later Artists' Films and Video Sub-Committee) (1972/73-1984/85), Art Advisory Panel (1945 onwards), Art Projects Committee (1986/87 onwards), Art Publishing Sub-Committee(1976/77-1978/79), Committee for Exhibitions of Photography(1970/71), Exhibitions Sub-Committee (1971/72-1985/86), Performance Art Committee (1973/74-1974/75), Photography Sub-Committee (1971/72-1978/79), Serpentine Gallery Committee (1970/71-1978/79), Support Scheme for Artists Sub-Committee (1976/77-1978/79) and Support Scheme for Photographers Sub-Committee (1977/78).
Scope and content:
The records of the Visual Arts Department comprise the following series:
Client Funding Administration, 1959-1996 (ref. ACGB/31)
Individuals and Organisations, 1945-1995 (ref. ACGB/29)
Major Direct Promotions, 1942-1992 (ref. ACGB/30)
Policy and Information Files, 1947-1995 (ref. ACGB/32)
Regional Material, 1967-1991 (ref. ACGB/33)

Cross-Departmental Units, 1962-1995
Extent: 9 series
Context:
Under the 1985/86 re-organisation a new Planning and Development Department was created, along with a new advisory body: the Advisory Board: Planning and Development. It formed part of the new Services Divisionand contained the following six units: Education, Regional, Research and Statistics, Training, Arts and Disability and Ethnic Minority Arts. The last two of these were completely new, but the first four had existed before in the same or a similar format. (An Education Unit had been set up in 1980 and Training had been a separate function since the mid-1970s, before which it was dealt with by the Drama Department).
Further restructuring took place in 1988/89 when the Training Unit was transferred to the Personnel (renamed Personnel and Training) Department which was also positioned within the Services Division. At the same time, the Arts and Disability and Ethnic Minority Arts Units merged to form the Arts Access Unit, although they soon split up again.
Finally in 1991 the Planning and Development Department was disbanded, along with its advisory body, which had been renamed the Planning Board in 1988. The units were split up as follows: Research and Statistics became part of the Finance and Resources Division and Regional was absorbed within the Policy and External Relations Division. Arts and Disability, Education and Ethnic Minority Arts (renamed Cultural Diversity) became cross-departmental units in the Arts Development Division, as did Training which was removed once again from the Personnel function.
Other advisory bodies with which the department was involved were; Education Committee (1985/86 onwards), Training Committee) (1970/71 onwards), Monitoring Committee: Ethnic Minority Arts(1985/86-1988/89) and Monitoring Committee: Arts and Disability(1986/87 onwards).
Scope and content:
This section of the archive contains the following series:
Arts Access Unit Files, 1987-1993 (ref. ACGB/89)
Arts and Disability Unit files, 1986-1995 (ref. ACGB/80)
Cultural Diversity Unit Files, 1987-1994 (ref. ACGB/90)
Education: Arts Education in a Multi-Cultural Society, 1985-1992 (ref. ACGB/72)
Education: Institutes and Organisations, 1985-1991 (ref. ACGB/114)
Education: Policy and Information Files, 1976-1994 (ref. ACGB/116)
Ethnic Minority Arts Unit Files, 1976-1989 (ref. ACGB/79)
Training: Arts Administration Course Files, 1962-1995 (ref. ACGB/81)
Training: Policy and Information files, 1964-1995 (ref. ACGB/117)


Finance and Resources Division, 1940-1996
Extent: 32 series
Context:
The Finance and Resources Division was formed in 1991 and contained the following departments; Finance, Information, Office Services (formerly Administration) and Personnel. Previously Finance had formed the Finance Division (created 1985/86) and the other departments had been in the Services Division (also created in 1985/86).
The Services Division had contained the following departments; Administration, Marketing and Resources (with responsibility for marketing, public relations and and information) Planning and Development (with responsibility for Arts and Disability, Education, Ethnic Minority Arts, Regional, Research and Statistics and Training) and Personnel. In 1988/89 however Training was transferred to the Personnel Department which was renamed the Personnel and Training Department accordingly.
Scope and content:
This sub-group contains the following series: Finance Department (1940-1996), Information (1957-1991) and Personnel (1946-1986). There are no Office Services Department records.

Finance Department, 1940-1996
Extent: 24 series
Context:
There was a separate Finance Department as early as 1966 and in the 1985/86 re-organisation this formed the basis of a new Finance Division. In 1991 the Finance Division became the Finance Department within the new Finance and Resources Division.
The Finance Department/Division was responsible for all the financial aspects of the Council's business, including the development and implementation of financial policy; negotiations with the government over the annual grant-in-aid and other matters, the financial appraisal of the Council's annual revenue clients; the financial assessment of applications for subsidy; the processing of subsidies and payments to clients; the provision of financial and management advice to clients, and liaison with external organisations on financial matters. It is also responsible for all internal financial services including accounting and the provision of financial data and information.
The department had close links to the Policy and Finance Committeeof the Arts Council.
Scope and content:
The Finance Department's records comprise the following series:
Accounts Books, 1943-1986 (ref. ACGB/24)
Administration and Policy Files, 1946-1994 (ref. ACGB/13)
Annual Accounts Working Papers 1945-1986 (ref. ACGB/15)
Applications Lists, 1964-1990 (ref. ACGB/19)
Appraisal Files, 1981-1992 (ref. ACGB/23)
'B' Series Files, 1946-1985 (ref. ACGB/3)
Client Account Files, 1950-1995 (ref. ACGB/10)
Client Administration Files, 1980-1996 (ref. ACGB/9)
Client Correspondence Files (a-d), 1940-1994 (ref. ACGB/1)
Client Correspondence Files (e-l), 1940-1994 (ref. ACGB/1)
Client Correspondence Files (m-q), 1940-1994 (ref. ACGB/1)
Client Correspondence Files (r-z), 1940-1994 (ref. ACGB/1)
Fee Letters (1968-1988 (ref. ACGB/22)
Financial Contemporary Music Network Files, 1974-1987 (ref. ACGB/18)
Financial Controller's Files, 1967-1995 (ref. ACGB/8)
Housing the Arts: Administration Files, 1965-1985 (ref. ACGB/120)
Housing the Arts: "Closed" Files, 1961-1985 (ref. ACGB/84)
Housing the Arts Files, 1960-1994 (ref. ACGB/12)
Housing the Arts: Planning Records, 1954-1985 (ref. ACGB/107)
Incentive Funding Files (1985-1991 (ref. ACGB/5)
International Initiatives Fund Files, 1987-1994 (ref. ACGB/4)
Miscellaneous Material, 1942-1990 (ref. ACGB/21)
Miscellaneous Minutes, Agendas and Papers, 1965-1991 (ref. ACGB/17)
National Audit of Capital Needs Files, 1992-1993 (ref. ACGB/6)
Offer Letters, 1965-1994 (ref. ACGB/2)
Officers' Meetings Agendas, Notes and Papers, 1982-1989 (ref. ACGB/16)
Quarterly Returns, 1981-1987 (ref. ACGB/14)
Regional Material, 1976-1991 (ref. ACGB/7)
'RO' Minutes, Agendas and Papers, 1969-1983 (ref. ACGB/11)
Weekly Returns, 1964-1989 (ref. ACGB/78)

Information Department, 1957-1991
Extent: 6 series
Context:
Information was initially the responsibility of the Research and Information Unit, which was established in 1973 as part of the Regional Department. In 1976 the Regional Department was disbanded, but the Research and Information Unit remained and was later absorbed within the Personnel and Administration Department (created in 1979).
In 1985 the Research and Information Unit was re-organised with a new Head of Information Services being responsible for four sections: Information/Library, Research/Statistics (which moved shortly afterwards to Finance (ref. ACGB/) Archives and Word Processing. Then in 1986 the unit became part of the new Marketing and Resources Departmentwithin the new Services Division. Finally, under the 1991 re-organisation, Information became a separate Department within the Finance and Resources Division.
Scope and content:
The records of the Information Department comprise the following series:
"Arts Documentary Monthly", 1976-1989 (ref. ACGB/85)
'G' Series, 1970-1984 (ref. ACGB/70)
Information/Library Unit Files, 1966-1991 (ref. ACGB/68)
Information Officer's Arts and Disability Unit Files, 1977-1988 (ref. ACGB/77)
Library Administration Files, 1970-1990 (ref. ACGB/87)
Library Holdings, 1957-1991 (ref. ACGB/86)

Personnel Department, 1946-1986
Extent: 2 series
Context:
In 1979 a Personnel and Administration Department was created, with Carol Harris as its Director. It was responsible for personnel, administration, marketing, publications, library, information and research services.
Then under the 1985/86 re-organisation, personnel became a separate department in the newly created Services Division. In 1988/89 the department also took responsibility for training and became the Personnel and Training Department. Finally in 1991 the department lost responsibility for training and became the Personnel Department once again, this time positioned within the new Finance and Resources Division.
Scope and content:
The records of the Personnel Department comprise the following series:
ACGB Retirement Plan Files, 1946-1983 (ref. ACGB/73)
Personnel Files, 1969-1986 (ref. ACGB/74)


Policy and External Relations Division, 1942-1996
Extent: 28 series
Context:
This division was formed in 1991 and contained the following departments and units: External Relations, National Arts and Media Strategy Unit, Policy and Planning, and Secretariat. Later however, the Secretariat was briefly (1992/93) absorbed within the Policy and Planning Unit and the National Arts and Media Strategy was disbanded, having completed its work.
The origins of this division lay in the Services Division, which was formed in 1985/86. It had contained the following departments; Administration, Marketing and Resources (with responsibility for marketing, public relations and information), Planning and Development (with responsibility for Arts and Disability, Education, Ethnic Minority Arts, Regional, Research and Statistics and Training) and Personnel.
In 1988/89 Training was transferred to the Personnel Department which was renamed the Personnel and Training Department accordingly. Then, in 1991, the Administration (renamed Office Services) and Personnel Departments were transferred to the Finance and Resources Division, as was the information function of the Marketing and Resources Department and the Research and Statistics function of the Planning and Development Department. At the same time, Training was split once again from Personnel and became a cross-departmental unit within the Arts Development Division, as did Arts and Disability, Education and Ethnic Minority Arts (renamed Cultural Diversity).
This left the marketing and public relations functions of the Marketing and Resources Department (as well as a Sponsorship Unit, which had been created within the department in 1989/90) and the Regional Unit of the Planning and Development Department. The former functions were therefore transferred to the External Relations Department, whilst the later became the responsibility of the Policy and Planning Unit.
Scope and content:
The records of this division relate to the following departments: External Relations Department (1956-1994), Policy and Planning Unit (1950-1996), National Arts and Media Strategy Unit (1988-1993) and Secretariat (1942-1994).

External Relations Department, 1956-1995
Extent: 7 series
Context:
The External Relations Department was created in 1991 and had the following aims; to communicate Arts Council policy and activities to key audiences and to provide marketing and development advice and research to artists and arts organisations. It contained the following units; marketing and market research unit, press office, public relations unit and sponsorship unit (formerly in the Marketing and Resources Department within the Services Division), as well as a new development unit and a small International Affairs Unit (established in 1991).
Scope and content:
The records of this department comprise the following series:
'C' Series, 1974-1985 (ref. ACGB/71)
Director of Marketing and Resources' Files, 1986-1990 (ref. ACGB/66)
Marketing Officer's Files, 1964-1990 (ref. ACGB/64)
Miscellaneous Files, 1956-1991 (ref. ACGB/69)
Miscellaneous Papers, 1987-1995 (ref. ACGB/20)
Press and Public Relations Files, 1977-1994 (ref. ADGB/67)
Press Cuttings and Press Releases, 1952-1988 (ref. ACGB/65)

National Arts and Media Strategy Unit, 1988-1993
Extent: 2 series
Context:
The National Arts and Media Strategy was commissioned in 1990 by the Minister of the Arts, along with associated exercises in Scotland and Wales. It was carried out by the Arts Council, the Regional Arts Boards, the British Film Institute and the Crafts Council. It resulted in the largest consultation and planning exercise ever undertaken on the arts in Great Britain.
Scope and content:
The records of this unit comprise the following series:
Discussion Documents, 1990-1992 (ref. ACGB/105)
Scheme Administration Files, 1988-1993 (ref. ACGB/106)

Policy and Planning Unit, 1950-1996
Extent: 12 series
Context:
The Policy and Planning Unit was formed in 1991 as part of the newly created Policy and External Relations Division. It had responsibility for co-ordinating and advising on the establishment of the integrated arts funding and development system and for responding to a variety of policy issues. It inherited this role from the Planning and Development Department (part of the Services Division 1985/86-1991). From this department it also inherited responsibility for regional matters, such as managing the Regional Arts Boards.
Regional matters had first been managed as a separate function within the Arts Council in 1968, when Nigel J. Abercrombie was appointed as Chief Regional Adviser with a small staff to provide direct and continuous liaison with the Regional Arts Associations (RAAs). In around 1972/73 this staff formed a new department for Regional Development to help the promotion of the arts in the regions and to provide services for the RAAs and for the Council's work generally in relation to marketing and research. At the same time an advisory Regional Committee was created.
In addition to the RAAs, marketing, research and information services, the Regional Development Department was also responsible for arts centres, community arts and touring. In 1976 Neil Duncan, Director of Regional Development, resigned and responsibility for regional development was assumed by the then Deputy Secretary General, Angus Stirling. The Regional Committee remained, in a reconstituted form, but the department was disbanded. Touring became a separate department, but it is unclear what happened to arts centres, community arts, marketing and research and information.
In 1979/80 a new Regional Department was created. Once again it had responsibilities for arts centres, community arts, RAAs and touring (the Touring Department was disbanded). Marketing, research and information became the responsibility of the new Personnel and Administration Department, formed at the same time. In addition the new Regional Department took over responsibility for mixed media festivals from K. H. Jeffery, who had been Adviser for Festivals and External Affairs since 1970/71, but who now became just Adviser for External Affairs.
Community/Combined arts and arts centres were slowly devolved to the RAAs, although the department retained direct funding responsibility for a few projects with national touring commitments. In 1982/83 the department took over Housing the Arts from the Finance Department, but this scheme was already in the process of being wound down.
Under the major 1985/86 restructuring the Regional Department was finally disbanded, along with the advisory bodies the Regional Advisory Committee, the Combined Arts Sub-Committee and the Touring Sub-Committee. Touring became a separate department in the Arts Division, as did Combined Arts. Regional became a unit within the Planning and Development Department in the Services Division.
Advisory bodies associated with the Regional Department were: Arts Centres Sub-Committee (1974/75-1980/81), Arts Festivals Committee(1977/78-1978/79), Combined Arts Sub-Committee (1981/82-1984/85), Community Arts Committee (later Sub-Committee) (1974/75-1980/81), Housing the Arts Committee (1975/76-1982/83), Touring Committee (sub-committee of Regional Committee until 1974/75) and Touring Sub-Committee (1981/82-1984/85).
Scope and content:
The records of this unit comprise the following series:
Combined Arts, Community Arts and Arts Centres, 1970-1986 (ref. ACGB/113)
Deputy-Secretary General's Files, 1990-1994 (ref. ACGB/76)
Festival and External Affairs Director's Files, 1965-1982 (ref. ACGB/119)
Festival Files, 1971-1995 (ref. ACGB/118)
Local Government Reviews, 1991-1995 (ref. ACGB/110)
Planning Director's Files, 1986-1989 (ref. ACGB/115)
Policy and Information Files, 1966-1996 (ref. ACGB/112)
Regional Arts Associations Files, 1953-1991 (ref. ACGB/111)
Regional Arts Boards' Corporate Plans, 1991-1994 (ref. ACGB/109)
Regional Arts Boards' Papers, 1991-1995 (ref. ACGB/108)
Regional Development Files, 1950-1983 (ref. ACGB/103)
Women In Arts Files, 1982-1995 (ref. ACGB/104)

Secretariat, 1942-1994
Extent: 6 series
Context:
The Secretariat of the Arts Council of Great Britain has its beginnings in CEMA. It was the central administrative body of the Council.
Scope and content:
The records of the Secretariat comprise the following series:
Accommodation Back Files, 1945-1984 (ref. ACGB/47)
Administration Back Files, 1942-1990 (ref. ACGB/35)
Arts Council of Great Britain Signed Minutes, 1964-1986 (ref. ACGB/36)
Chairman's Papers, 1989-1994 (ref. ACGB/45)
Later Chronological Filing Series, 1989-1994 (ref. ACGB/48)
Miscellaneous, 1945-1995 (ref. ACGB/46)


Hayward Gallery Material, 1935-1997
Extent: 5 series
Context:
A major function of the Arts Council'sVisual Art Department was the mounting of exhibitions in London and the organisation of touring exhibitions for the rest of the country.
The Hayward Gallery opened on the South Bank in London in 1968 and was initially operated and maintained by the Arts Council. The Council's major exhibitions were then for the most part concentrated there. In 1970 the Arts Council also opened the Serpentine Gallery with the aim of exhibiting the contemporary art work of younger, less well known artists. Exhibition proposals were considered at the quarterly meetings of the Exhibition Sub-Committee of the Advisory Panel on Art.
During the 1980s a greater part of the Arts Council's grant-in-aid on art was put towards developing a programme with municipal art galleries. Regional touring exhibitions and the exhibition programme at the Hayward Gallery now became the responsibility of the South Bank Board, which was established as an independent limited company in 1988.
The files relating to the art exhibition section of the Arts Council were stored with the Hayward Gallery rather than with the Arts Council. In order to reflect the separate custodial history of these records and in the interests of original order, they have not been re-integtated into the Arts Development Division sub-group. Instead they have formed the independent "Hayward Gallery" sub-group of the Archive.
Scope and content:
This material comprises the following series:
Aborted Exhibition Files, 1965-1985 (ref. ACGB/123)
Arts Council Collection Files, 1940-1996 (ref. ACGB/124)
Exhibition Files, 1945-1995 (ref. ACGB/121)
Gallery Files, 1970-1993 (ref. ACGB/122)
Policy and Information Files, 1935-1997 (ref. ACGB/75)

National Resource Centre for Dance Material, 1953-1989
Extent: 4 series
Context:
The items in this series were formerly held at the National Resource Centre For Dance (NRCD) at the University of Surrey in Guildford. Between the mid-1980s and July 1990, the NRCD received four deposits of material from the Dance Department of the Arts Council. These records were transferred to the V&A Museum in January 2003.
These records have not been re-integrated with the other records of the Arts Development Division of the Arts Council. Instead, they have been retained as a separate "National Resource Centre for Dance" sub-group of the archive, in order to reflect their separate custodial background.
Scope and content:
This material comprises the following series:
Dance Department Files: First Deposit, 1953-1985 (ref. ACGB/125)
Dance Department Files: Second Deposit, 1964-1989 (ref. ACGB/126)
Dance Department Files: Third Deposit, 1979-1989 (ref. ACGB/127)
Dance Department Files: Fourth Deposit, 1967-1989 (ref. ACGB/128)

Public Record Office Material, 1939-1985
Extent: 6 series
Context:
During the mid-1980s a small amount of material relating to the early years of the Arts Council of Great Britain (ACGB) and to its predecessor the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts (CEMA), were transferred to the Public Record Office (PRO) in Kew. It was intended that all the Council's records would eventually be similarly deposited at the PRO, but this did not in fact take place.
The material which had already been deposited at the PRO however, remained there and was made available to the public for research until April 1997. At this time it was reintegrated with the rest of the ACGB archive, following the Council's decision to give the archive to the V & A Museum.
Scope and content:
This material has been maintained in the order in which it was kept and made available for research during its time at the PRO. The PRO reference numbers have also been retained. There are six series:
CEMA: Minutes and Papers, 1939-1945(ref. EL1)
CEMA: Correspondence, General, 1939-1960 (ref. EL2)
CEMA: Correspondence, Regional, 1942-1956 (ref. EL3)
ACGB: Minutes and Papers, 1942-1985 (ref. EL4)
Secretariat: Correspondence, 1945-1961 (ref. EL5)
Festival of Britain, 1946-1957 (ref. EL6)