2016 BAC Cataloguing Grant Winner

The Business Archives Council is delighted to announce the winner of the BAC cataloguing grant for business archives 2016.

Once again, the judging panel was very impressed with the high standard of the applications that were received from across the country, but ultimately decided to present the award to Lancashire Archives for the cataloguing of the records of the Abbott and Company of Lancaster, stained glass manufacturers.

Abbott and Company of Lancaster, stained glass manufacturers was founded in 1860 as plumbers and glaziers, initially by William Abbott, the company appears to have moved more into stained glass around 1890 under the management of his son James Hartley Abbott. The firm produced tens of thousands of pieces of both secular and ecclesiastical stained glass, many of which can still be seen in churches, hospitals, town halls, pubs and country houses, in Lancashire, across the UK and overseas.

The collection contains detailed documentation of thousands of individual artistic works which may be vital for the preservation and restoration of windows designed by the company. For those pieces of stained glass that do not survive, or are in need of repair, the archive often provides the only evidence of what they looked like and how they were made. The collection provides information to those interested in the development of stained glass design and manufacturing processes and serves as a record of a small, specialised but important industry which flourished in Lancaster in the 19th and 20th centuries and is a key resource for those interested in the history of the city during this period.

In addition the collection links with many church, building control and architectural records and photographs, both at Lancashire Archives and in a large number of other archives and libraries across the United Kingdom. The collection also complements existing Lancashire County Council holdings relating to Shrigley and Hunt, the other key producer of stained glass in Lancaster, and provides context not just to stained glass still in its original setting, but also to material in the collections of Lancashire Museums and The Stained Glass Museum.

It is expected that this cataloguing work will support our outreach programme which, in recent years, has worked increasingly with arts organisations and individual artists and can inspire new creative works by artists, architects and designers working with glass. The work will contribute towards an understanding of the role of stained glass in the history of domestic and public architecture during the early to mid 20th century as well as to its place in thousands of specific buildings

The archive has been deposited at Lancashire Archives to ensure that access to and preservation of the collection is maintained at a high level and was encouraged by the professional cataloguing advice that will be provided by Lancashire Archives.  The panel was also impressed with the additional support being provided by the Lancashire Archives that is being funded outside of the BAC grant including the joint-hosting of the completed catalogue online, financial contribution from the Friends of Lancashire Archive and provision of archival packaging and assistance with outreach.  Overall, the judging panel concluded that the cataloguing project is realistic, provides value for money and is worthy of support.

Read the report of the project completion.