Lancaster University Jack Hylton Archive

The archive at Lancaster University is something truly remarkable. I know of nothing like it elsewhere, certainly in Britain. What we have is all of the remaining band music from the 20's and 30's, which alone numbers well over 2,000 sets of parts.

Along with this, is a massive collection of Hylton's personal papers, photos, and boxes upon boxes of theatre programmes, scripts, stills from shows, newspaper cuttings from around the world, and countless other things which I haven't managed to get to yet.

The archive at one time, as university legend would have it, was stored in a disused Gents toilet in the Geography department. However, the university library expanded a few years ago and the archive now has a permanent, though far from glamorous home. More of a problem was the twenty years it sat in a damp room at the Adelphi Theatre in London, but fortunately those days are behind us.

Things have changed, however. The archive was taken over by Helen Clish several years ago who, along with Liz Fawcett, is working hard at sorting through the vast amounts of material and is very keen for us all to have access to it. Anyone who's been in touch with me in the last few years will realise what a breakthrough this is. Helen is happy for people to contact her directly, though you must please appreciate that the Hylton archive is not her primary concern in the library and she may not be able to spend the time answering your questions.

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