For a detailed account of Recording the Crafts and its history please go to the articles page

Those people already interviewed include makers, collectors, critics, educationalists, shopkeepers, gallery owners and museum curators. Recording the Crafts's interest is wide ranging. It includes historical, technical, sociological, political, aesthetic and economic aspects of all the Crafts. The materials are used for educational and museological purposes. 132 people have been interviewed so far. They include David Leach, Anita Hoy, Kenneth Clark, Sidney Tustin, William Newland, Walter Keeler, Jim Partridge, Michael Rowe, Richard Slee, Alison Britton and Tanya Harrod.

Recording the Crafts (then known as NEVAC) was started by Mike Hughes and Professor Walter Keeler at the University of the West of England. Mike sadly died on October 31 2000, after a short illness, (for more information please go to his obituary). The current Director, Matthew Partington, joined Recording the Crafts (then NEVAC) in 1998 as the V&A Museum Research Fellow in the Applied Arts.

Recording the Crafts's aims are:
to develop a long term programme of gathering interview materials.
to process these materials by cataloguing them and making digital copies.
to develop techniques for interrogating and evaluating the material.
to develop methods of access and dissemination. It is a prime concern to share this process with other institutions and individuals. In all of this the application of electronic technology is central. Digitisation of the Archive means that it can be made available for on-line distribution and act as stimulus for developing new approaches to gathering, processing, interrogating and dissemination.

Regional, National and International Importance
Apart from the Craft objects themselves there is a paucity of source material which can act as an object of study in evaluating and teaching the history of the Crafts in Britain. There are some excellent critiques and commentaries but the raw materials on which commentaries could be made are not easily to be had. Recording the Crafts aims to provide these materials and to develop and disseminate ways of interrogating and evaluating them. This will act as a major stimulus to teaching and researching the crafts.

The project began initially with grants from the Crafts Council and the University of the West of England. There was close cooperation with the University of Wales at Aberystwyth. As the work proceeded it generated increasing interest in the Craft community and increasing support from U.W.E., Bristol. In 1998 a formal partnership began with the V&A Museum and Matthew Partington was appointed to work on joint projects with the Museum.

Recording the Crafts' major research preoccupation at present is making the archive accessible online. Applications for funding are currently under way with the aim of making the entire video archive searchable via their transcripts and then allowing free access to the video. At present users of the archive have to visit Bristol to watch material but the plan is that anyone in the world with access to the Internet will be able to access Recording the Crafts video.

For more information please contact Matthew Partington on 0117 32 84746

or by email:

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