Animating Archives

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A selection of materials from the Bob Godfrey collection were brought from their usual home at in the Animation Archive at Farnham to the CG Arts and Animation department at UCA Rochester.  First year CG Arts and Animation students were given the opportunity to see for themselves a collection of works and ephemera from one of Britain’s animation greats. Godfrey (1921 – 2013) founded the animation course at Farnham as well as being the first British Oscar-winning animator for his 1975 short animated film “Great”.

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Through collaboration between the Archivist, Learning and Teaching Librarian and Course Leader, Phil Gomm, the day was organised to allow students to learn more about the archive collections at UCA, understand them in terms of the wider context of their own research and study, whilst accessing the animation collection first hand.  The day focused around one of Godfrey’s best known works “Henry’s Cat”, a children’s series screened in the 1980s and 1990s.  Students were able to look through the original materials from the programme and explore and discuss the cel drawn animation method. In addition, running orders from the shows were available to see exactly how an episode was put together, with frame by frame annotation, direction and narration. Included in the collection were a selection of Godfrey’s own books which he used to source ideas and annotated and illustrated with his own comments and observations. Students will be producing art work in response to their encounter with the Bob Godfrey archive

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The day formed part of a longer term initiative put together by Rebekah Taylor, Archivist and Adele Martin-Bowtell, Learning and Teaching Librarian to raise awareness among students and staff of the opportunities to utilise archives in their subject specific creative arts learning and education. The project recognises the importance of allowing students steer and interact creatively with archive use in a library context.

Find out more about the Bob Godfrey Archive at http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/40801/Bob-Godfrey-Archive

Adele Martin-Bowtell

Learning & Teaching Librarian, UCA Rochester

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