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National Jazz Archive receives 3-year grant of £346,300


Syd Lipton
Image provided by the National Jazz Archive



Patience rewarded: congratulations to the team at the National Jazz Archive, based at Loughton Library in Essex, who have just announced that they have received a three year grant of £346,300 from the Heritage Lottery Fund .

The archive will be investing in a full cataloguing of the archive for the first time, conservation where necessary, the launch of a new “Story of British Jazz” website, with sound files, not only of music but also of interviews and memories. There will also be more public events and an education programme.

Boy, these processes in the museums sector take a long time. I reckon it was 2007 when the archive received a “Phase One Development Grant” and project manager Angela Davies was first taken on board to prepare the application which has just led to this grant.

It represents a major team effort from the archive’s founder Digby Fairweather, who calls this development “the most exciting moment in the Archive’s history since we received our first book donation back in 1988!”(Dig never leaves home without an exclamation mark), Chair of Trustees Chris Hodgkins, Vice Chair Graham Langley and patrons such as Dame Cleo Laine, Sir Michael Parkinson and Gary Crosby.

And above all from one of the most helpful people in jazz, David Nathan, who has continued to staff the archive consistently, professionally, smilingly throughout. And by people who have given their sevices for events: e.g. the Dankworth family, John Altman, Alan Barnes, and Simon Spillett who did an event as recently as last week.

The next stage will be a series of recruitment processes, which will start in January 2012, for a Project Manager, an Archivist, a specialist in digitisation, and a Learning and Participation Manager. The archive will stay in Loughton, but looks like it will probably need extra space .

The archive will also be making a fundraising effort, to support this major increase in its activity from other sources. The NJA’s website has a button to make direct donations.

nationaljazzarchive.org.uk  Registered charity number: 327894

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