The Archive Project

The Archive Project

We were unsuccessful in our application in 2014  for this project. The Heritage Lottery Fund don’t give reasons why they don’t choose applications.


Working Title “CASA – Contempory Archive for Street Arts”

NASA would like to ensure that ephemeral world in which street and outdoor artists practice, is captured and safely retained for open access, research and practice for future generations, through the creation of a National street and outdoor arts Archive.

The Street and Outdoot Arts are not as widely recognised and repected as they should be. Theatre, Circus, Fairs, Dance, Music and other Arts have an active national archive resource.  So much great endeavour, ambition, work, genius, fun, social, participatory, engaging, entertaining, challenging and exciting performance goes unrecorded and nasa uk thinks that the UK needs and deserves an Archive so that this wonderous work is not forgotten.

The proposed plan is for a 2-3 phase structure over 3-5 years.

Tony Lidington leads on the Archive Project for NASA UK. Tony has spoken with a range of potential partners to identify a strategy whereby this contemporary archive could be developed and sustained.

UPDATE from Tony Lidington

“For 2 years, we have been building towards making a funding proposal to Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) towards an archiving project for street arts.

It’s been clear for some time that some old lags such as me are going greyer and becoming ever-more doddery: we all own large quantities of imagery and information pertaining to our work in outdoor arts over the last 3 or 4 decades, but much of it is stored in plastic bags and boxes in sheds and attics!

As someone who researches and produces work on historical popular entertainment forms from archives across the country, I am keenly aware of the necessity to preserve and annotate these ephemeral items effectively for the future.

This project will be a collaboration between NASA, Winchester & Exeter Universities, an archiving service (TBA) and yourselves.

NASA would be the lead organisation.

It is a 2-part project:

Phase 1 would be a “self-archiving” process, where about 10-12 companies over 2 years would attend archiving workshops and receive training and materials to archive their own work effectively, so that the resources are in an appropriate format for Phase 2.

Phase 2 would be the storage, management and digitisation of those (and other) companies’ archives at Winchester University.

Phase 1 is intended to be funded primarily by HLF, Phase 2 primarily by AHRC (Arts & Humanities Research Council) and would be led by the Universities.

The membership of NASA have supported the development of the project and my aim is now to start negotiations and the application to HLF for Phase 1, with a view to trying to submit a proposal to them in the Summer of this year – this would mean that the project would effectively start in early 2015. There is a lot still to do and I try to fit the discussions around all my other work, but we have a lot of quite influential support and the idea is a good one, though I say so myself!

In the meantime, listen out for my next BBC Radio 4 series about historical, itinerant, outdoor performers with ‘The Showman’s Parson – The Memoirs of The Reverend Thomas Horne’, a 3-part series about fairground sideshow life in the Nineteenth Century, due for broadcast on 2nd, 9th & 16th March 2014 7.45PM.”

We’ll post more news here as we get it.

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