Introducing: The Lightfoot Archive

By Helen Spencer and Sandra Dubois

The Lightfoot Archive is an extensive, privately owned material culture collection, which has been amassed over the past 45 years. For a private, non-museum collection, its breadth and size is impressive. The archive houses over 1,500 items of global provenance. The oldest piece in the collection is Coptic, from circa 300AD, and the most contemporary pieces are examples of European fashion from the 21st century. However, until now it has been little known to researchers and academics.

Earlier in the year, Dubois and Spencer, a collaborative partnership between two early career researchers and curators, were responsible for the organisation of the archive. The ethos behind the archive is one, which is inclusive, and seeks to draw together interdisciplinary researchers and practitioners at different levels of their careers, from both traditional and non-traditional academic backgrounds.

Between now and Summer 2016, a three-part exhibition series has been planned to disseminate knowledge of the archive to a wider audience. The Textile Society Antiques Fair on Sunday 4th October 2015 marks the first occasion. The curators have planned an interactive and sensorial display, which acts as a prelude to the official launch of the archive in Spring 2016 that draws inspiration from immersive, promenade theatre and transforms it into a curatorial setting. The final instalment of this exhibition series will take place in Summer 2016, where different aspects of the collection are showcased in a variety of exhibition venues, whilst following the same curatorial narrative.

Event/Exhibition – The Lightfoot Archive – 4th October 2015

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