The National Fairground Archive and Allied Entertainments
The National Fairground Archive (NFA) was
inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sheffield
in 1994, with the support of the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain
and the Fairground Association of Great Britain. Housed in the Western
Bank Library, it is a unique collection of photographic, printed,
manuscript and audiovisual material covering all aspects of the
culture of travelling showpeople, their organisation as a community,
their social history and everyday life; and the artefacts and machinery
of fairgrounds. Our key collecting areas include fairs, shows, magic and illusion, circus, variety, entertainment spaces such as the sea-side, pleasure garden and amusement park, and many aspects of variety and performance.
The NFA collections are continuing to grow: there are now over 80,000 images in the photographic collection, in addition to audio and video material, journals and magazines, and nearly 4,000 monographs. The collection also includes a unique body of ephemera (programmes, handbills, posters, charters and proclamations, plans and drawings).
The NFA represents an important part of the cultural
heritage of the nation. It is a primary resource of rich potential
for research at every level; it provides a new and exciting source
of teaching material for primary and secondary education, and provides
access to a wealth of popular cultural history both for the academic researcher and for the public at large.
For all enquiries please email: firstname.lastname@example.org