In 2015, after inheriting Stuart Croft’s archive of moving image works, research materials, various documentation and ephemera, the foundation set to work investigating archive facilities to best preserve Stuart’s legacy and promote public access and scholarly research into his archive. It was concluded that the British Film Institute (BFI) would be the most appropriate long-term home. Two years later, we are thrilled to announce Stuart Croft’s archive will be housed within the BFI National Archive.
At our official launch event for the foundation last month, we invited curator of artist moving image at the BFI, Will Fowler, to publicly share this news for the first time. He said:
The BFI National Archive was founded in 1935 and has close to a million items within it. It is the official national archive for film, television and other moving image materials, and I’m very pleased to be able to bring Stuart Croft’s work into the collection.
The deposit consists of all of Stuart’s completed artist’s works; both his composite and single channel versions (where appropriate); installation documentation; his pop videos; sound files; plus other works and compilations spread over multiple formats; and encompassing over twenty years of work.It’s been a real pleasure over the last two years to have worked closely with trustees Emma Bennett and Keira Greene in bringing the collection into the BFI, and also with Nathalie Morris and Wendy Russell who work at the BFI in the special collections department.
What’s really been fantastic is to combine the moving image material with Stuart’s own research material and papers. This is extensive and consists of paper and digital documentation over the course of his career – scripts, production paper works, film stills, drawings, press cuttings, notes, correspondence and papers relating not just to his own work but also to his teaching at the Royal College of Art. This archive gives real insight into Stuart’s processes, both as a filmmaker and as a teacher.
Combing these materials with the various video formats being held and preserved will really give a deep, holistic view of Stuart Croft’s practice. It’s very special, not only for researchers and for people wanting to screen his work over the years, but also for those wishing to develop a deeper understanding of his practice and doing more research into his work. This is just the beginning.
The Stuart Croft Foundation has also funded a six-month position at the BFI for a Special Collections Project Archivist to appraise, catalogue, carry out basic preservation work and further expand on the current archive. This will commence in January 2018.
In addition, the BFI plan to present a programme at the BFI Southbank as part of the regular Experimenta strand, dedicated to contextualising the early days of Stuart Croft’s practice during the 1990s. More information will be announced soon, please sign up to our newsletter to keep updated.
Image: Stuart Croft, drawing for Century City, 2006. Copyright Stuart Croft Foundation.