Yachting archive to preserve sailing’s heritage launched by Clare Francis

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bnya_logo

Growing concern about loss of historically significant information has prompted the formation of a new charity, the British National Yachting Archive.

If you can remember web addresses, it’s at: http://www.bnya.org.uk.

The launch itself took place at the London Boat Show yesterday evening and was announced officially by Association of Yachting Historians president, novelist and sailor Clare Francis.

The new organisation says it hopes to:

• Promote the preservation of sailing’s heritage
• Establish a knowledge base of yachting heritage and provide public access
• Facilitate the presentation and display of yachting heritage at appropriate museums and other organisations
• Provide grants, bursaries and scholarships for those who would advance knowledge and understanding of yachting heritage

It also hopes to find homes for private collections, many of which have no future once their owner passes on and are frequently lost.

‘It also hopes to find homes for private collections,
many of which have no future once their owner
passes on and are frequently lost.’

The Archive will represent a broad definition of sailing including dinghy sailing and motor boating, as well as all the support industries. It will be a a virtual archive with web-based resources that identify and link to information wherever it resides, including clubs, classes, museums, businesses and the media.

As much of material is not stored or catalogued to archival standards, help and advice will be provided where necessary, and in the longer term, the BNYA hopes to digitise large amounts of material to facilitate easy access.

The BNYA is a membership-based charity, with membership fees used to further the work of the Archive and jointly fund grant-aided projects – chairman David Elliott says that there is a great deal of catching up to do, so membership needs to build quickly.

Some of the first research projects will be to collect oral histories, and the BNYA has a growing list of people it feels should be interviewed as soon as possible. That makes a lot of sense to me, as it seems clear that too many people have passed on without having their memories recorded.

Download a pdf explaining the BNYA’s background here.

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