The Tregeagle Project
Using audio-visual archives to preserve and revitalise intangible cultural heritage in Cornwall and beyond.
|Centre for Heritage, Culture & Society
The Cornish legend of Jan Tregeagle tells of the infamous giant ghost being bound to a series of impossible, endless tasks – principally to bail out Dozmary Pool with a limpet shell with a hole in it: a fitting metaphor for the task of consolidating a Cornish national audio-visual archive. Work as part of the Re:voice project has pointed strongly to a need to create both policy and guidance around digitisation, accessibility, and collections approaches and co-ordination.
The Tregeagle Project, part of the archives research strand of the larger Re:voice project, identified that in Cornwall there is no existing collections policy for audio-visual archive material relating to intangible cultural heritage; a lack of expertise when it comes to issues of intellectual property; and a lack of clarity as to practical steps that need to be taken to store, catalogue, digitise, preserve and make accessible legacy or donated AV material. Beginning with the production of a Cornish AV Archive Charter, this programme of work aims to ensure that the archive of Cornish intangible cultural heritage is preserved and shared for resilience into the future.
Responding to the challenge above, the charter was produced in collaboration with other stakeholders, and includes initial insights into:
- Collections policy (selection, acquisition, deselection and disposal)
- Preservation strategy (documenting, cataloguing, digitising, interoperability)
- Accessibility guidelines (ethics, intellectual property, interpretation)
By modelling the output on a simple, shareable ‘charter’ model, this can be badged and easily accessed within Cornwall, as well as shared much more widely via a creative commons licence.
This work builds on the establishment of Kresen Kernow as the consolidation of the Cornish Studies Centre and Cornwall Records Office as part of Cornwall Council.
It links to growing moves to ensure that minority cultures’ heritage – particularly its intangible heritage, which is inherently harder to capture - is accessible and visible (particularly to those cultures it belongs to), and to consider archives not (only) as ways of preserving the past but as contributing to the future. In Cornwall, the project links closely to the Cornwall Creative Manifesto.
This work is a strand of the Centre for Heritage, Culture & Society’s aims to explore ways to ensure heritage is imbricated in socially just and sustainable mechanisms for resilience; it also forms a key part of the School of Film and Television’s aims to deepen its roots in Kernow screen culture through shared practice, expertise and encouragement, collaboration and historical analysis in our Celtic nation and beyond, particularly via its collaboration with Screen Cornwall. It draws in particular on lead investigator Monk’s previous project A Case for Cornish Public Service Media, which initially outlined the case for focus on this area, subsequently explored further via Re:voice.
The Tregeagle Project – including the archives research strand of Re:voice, the Cornish Audio-visual Archive Charter, and work on Cornish public service media – is led by Denzil Monk. The Re:voice archives team also included Flis Tattersall and Barbara Santi
Denzil Monk - Project lead
Denzil Monk is a Film lecturer in the School of Film & Television at Falmouth. Denzil has over twenty years’ experience as a creative producer and consultant across the film value chain. His research interests include transmedia narratives and geo-locational experiences, experimental and explorative theatre and filmmaking, and hybrid distribution. Find out more about Denzil’s producing work, research interests, projects and outputs directly on his staff profile, linked below.Staff profile
The AV Charter and work towards it, as well as the research, was undertaken collectively by a range of regional and international stakeholders including:
- Kresen Kernow
- Cornwall Council
- Screen Cornwall
- FX Plus Archives
- awen productions
- University of Bern
- Warwick University
The website was designed by LEAP, modelled on the Creative Sustainable Charter they designed for GoodFest.
The initial research was funded by the Re:voice project (JPICH/AHRC), with further work on the Charter supported by Research England QR funds.
Outputs & outcomes
A key output so far is the collective founding of a Cornish AudioVisual Archive Charter, available for anyone to sign up to.
It was launched at the Cornwall Council-hosted event Cornish Culture Pathways (21 June 2023), and is available on the Re:voice website.
Future outputs will be available on Re:voice.