The Cornish Audio Visual Archive (CAVA) began its life in 2000. It was founded by Dr Garry Tregidga of the Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University, Penryn Campus. It developed as a natural progression from the Cornish History Network research forum.
We tend to think of archives as a place where things ‘end up’, yet much of CAVA’s content is characterised by ongoing, contemporary projects. From being donated by individuals or academics to being the result of heritage and community projects such as; Cornish Braids, Farming Families and Tallys an Tir – CAVA brings together the past with the present. Many of these early collections are preserved for present and future generations at the new Kresen Kernow in Redruth.
Currently the archive is run by academic staff and volunteers, with visits arranged by appointment. CAVA’s position as an archive, is public and community facing but it also maintains a strong academic focus in its association with the educational programme at the Institute of Cornish Studies, Exeter University. The Archive provides an exciting research resource for the students and also provides a showcase for their research work in the form of web articles showcased on our in-house and online magazine, Cornish Story. It is this academic exchange which secures such a robust integrity to the archive; the contents of which are used to promote heritage and cultural understanding and are not being commercialised.
Moving forwards from its academic legacy, CAVA seeks to develop its public facing facility by providing a user-friendly location for the collection. CAVA is deeply committed to public access and needs resources to fulfil these aims. By upholding this ethos, CAVA aims to regain control of its own digitisation and preservation processes, ultimately allowing the continuation of sharing material with the local community.