The National Puppetry Archive

Puppetry in Great Britain has a rich and diverse history. From the Victorian marionette showmen with their elaborate travelling theatres and trick marionettes to the Punch and Judy professors in their booths on the sea front, each have played their own part in not just our puppet history, but our social history as well.

Items relating to puppets and puppet theatre are varied and reside in public and private collections throughout the UKand abroad. It is the aim of the National Puppetry Archive to bring these collections together, not physically, but virtually; linking our own digitised collection with other museum databases around the country. We also actively encourage those with private collections to share their items and the history behind them within our site.
The National Puppetry Archive and its collection is administered by The British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, the oldest puppetry organisation in the world and co-curated by myself, Michael Dixon, and Ray DaSilva. The Guild’s own collection is currently being digitised and added to the database, forming the basis of the online archive.

I have been able to create a base for the archive that allows us to not only store the collections of both the Guild and the Puppet Centre but also offer a research centre with a library, archive, video collection and a selection of puppets on display.

We are now beginning the long and slow process of organising and arranging the items into relevant accessible files. The hope is to also begin scanning each item that can be catalogued and uploaded to the archives site;