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 UK and 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. The Guild’s own collection is currently being digitised and added to the database, forming the basis of the online archive.
It is important to remember that archives should not stand still. What is happening today is history tomorrow and it is essential that our archive represents current trends in puppet theatre as comprehensively as it does those of 100 years ago. With that in mind I encourage you to contact us from the above link. There you can send us messages, questions or memories of puppetry you have performed or seen. You can also EMAIL US and attach a document or picture that you would like added to the archive in the future, by doing so we can ensure that the period of puppet history we are in now is documented for all future generations.