The National Puppetry Archive and its collection is administered by The Guild.
The Archives of the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild are one of the largest collections relating to British Puppetry in the world. Within the archives are documents, photographs and actual puppets connected with the most talented and famous puppeteers and puppet makers the UK has ever produced.
The archive is continually growing with additions from both the past as well as items relating to current puppeteers and companies.
Our Hon.Archivist, Michael Dixon, administers the National Puppetry Archive. The National Puppetry archive joins together collections from around the country, those of the Guild, Ray DaSilva and Michael’s own collection. Through these links, it enables the Guild to have access to the most comprehensive collection of puppets and ephemera related to puppet theatre arts both here and abroad.
Our aim it to have large aspects of the archive scanned and available online for research, so that the collection is accessible to all interested parties from around the world.
One of the major acquisitions into the archives was the Lanchester Marionette collection which was obtained with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
The collection contained over 40 marionettes together with all sets and props. The productions included The Grand Circus, Underwater Ballet and Old Time Marionettes – 13 Victorian marionettes perfectly preserved and maintained.
The current archives are located in the Shropshire, and maintained by our Hon. Archivist Michael Dixon. We also have regular exhibitions at Bantock House Museum in Wolverhampton, where the NPA has it’s own exhibitions room. For details on Bantock House please go here: www.wolverhamptonart.org.uk/visit/bantock/ for details on current or future exhibitions visit the NPA’s facebook page here: National Puppetry Archive on Facebook
Although the NPA is not open to the public it is available to visit by appointment.
Naturally with a collection so large there is not space to display all of the puppets all of the time however if there are specific items from the collection you wish to see this can be arranged before your visit.
We would be very interested to hear from anyone who has anything they would like to add to the collection or if you have a particular interest or aspect of puppetry you would like to research, he would be happy to help.
More details on the National Puppetry Archive can be found here: www.nationalpuppetryarchive.co.uk