Archiving Cornwall: C.A.V.A

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This is the first article of a regular feature which will be visiting the many and varied Archives of Cornwall, which are storing and exploring the history of Cornwall. This feature’s archive theme is on The Cornish Audio Visual Archive in which author Shauna Osborne-Dowle tells us more of its origins and work.

The Cornish Audio Visual Archive (C.A.V.A) began its life in 2000. It was founded by Dr Garry Tregidga of the Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University, Penryn Campus. It developed as a natural progression from the Cornish History Network research forum.

We tend to think of archives as a place where things end up and much of the C.A.V.A content has been donated by individuals or academics, but equally some of the Archive content has been generated through the development of heritage and community projects such as; Cornish Braids, Farming Families and Tallys an Tir.

Currently the archive is run by academic staff and volunteers with visits arranged by appointment. C.A.V.A’s position as an archive, is public and community facing but it also maintains a strong academic focus in its association with the educational programme at the Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University. The Archive provides an exciting research resource for the students and also provides a showcase for their research work in the form of web articles here on Cornish Story. It is this academic exchange which secures such a robust integrity to the archive; the contents of which are used to promote heritage and cultural understanding and are not being commercialised.

Moving forwards from its academic legacy, C.A.V.A seeks to develop its public facing facility by providing a user-friendly location for the collection. C.A.V.A is deeply committed to public access and needs resources to fulfil these aims and to regain control of its own digitisation and preservation processes as it is through these processes that C.A.V.A can continue to share and exchange its contents with the local community.

Cornish Audio Visual Archive:

Location: Penryn Campus, Cornwall Records Office – Truro, Cornish Studies Library – Redruth

Archive originated – 2000

Content – photographs, slides, film, audio recordings, documents, academic papers.

Public Access – on request

Online presence –

Contact –