Jane is a volunteer archivist who is a former stage manager. Earning her living running a new local history museum, the progress to getting the collection fully sorted and catalogued has been slower than she would have liked.
Since 2001 Jane has sifted through thousands of papers, removing duplicates and trying to fill gaps in the record. This has included creating separate archives for the TAC: Theatres Advisory Council and SACLAT: Standing Advisory Committee on Local Authorities and the Theatre, which were donated to the Theatre Collections at the V&A alongside a donation from Fred Bentham’s family (which complemented his donation of Strand Electric material already in their collections.) This was achieved in time for the ABTT’s move to Farringdon from Bermondsey in 2004, following a decision that only records relating directly to the ABTT’s own work should remain in our collection.
Jane also became the guardian of the ABTT book collection, now housed at The Theatres Trust since 2010 to make it more accessible. It remains a ‘live’ project as the Historical Research Committee develop a tighter acquisition policy for new books and others have to be culled. Recently our ‘costume’ books, some of them quite rare, were gratefully received at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Jane also oversaw the ABTT collection of VHS recordings being digitised in 2011. The audio cassettes are now on the waiting list for digitisation
The move to get all the collection into specialist archival storage boxes is nearing completion and a catalogue will be forthcoming.