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The National Puppetry Archive consists of two main collections: the archive of The British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild, the oldest puppetry organisation in the world, and the personal collection of its Archivist, Michael Dixon. Together they form the largest collection and archive related to British puppet history in the world.

Michael Dixon’s collection includes examples of most British puppet makers as well as Victorian marionettes, Punch and Judy, Toy Theatre, ventriloquist figures and even characters from the iconic TV show Spitting Image. The British Puppet and Model Theatre archive holds an extensive paper based archive linked to the history of the Guild together with significant puppets including some of the famous Lanchester Marionettes, which were saved for the nation through a Heritage Lottery grant. 

The collection store is not open to the public but items can be sourced and photographed for researchers and those wishing to know more. Naturally with a collection so large there is not space to display all of the puppets however you can see many photographs from the numerous exhibitions that have been staged on our exhibitions page here.

Click the images below to see larger version.