Caught by the River

The Doc Rowe Archive Crowdfunder

26th October 2023

Supported by awen productions, The Museum of British Folklore, The BFI, Dirty Looks and the English Folk Dance and Song Society, Fifth Column Films are crowdfunding for the digitisation of the Doc Rowe Archive — 60 years’ worth of footage taken by the folklorist in his efforts to document the folk customs of the British Isles.

Rob Curry and Tim Plester (co-directors of The Ballad of Shirley Collins and Way of the Morris) write:

‘Doc Rowe has been documenting the folk traditions of the British Isles since the mid 1960s, and has built up a vast collection of irreplaceable audiovisual material spanning 60 years. [We] began making a film about Doc during lockdown, the primary impetus of which was to ensure that the archive was preserved for posterity. We want to feature as much of Doc’s incredible footage as we can in the film, but, in the spirit of ‘being the change we want to see’, we want to play a role in permanently securing Doc’s legacy. Rather than just digitise the bits we need, we are therefore launching this crowdfund to (hopefully, with your help) create a permanent digital archive of all the material related to folk traditions that is currently languishing on film stock and old video formats in Doc’s hallowed archive in Whitby. The resultant digital copy will then be housed in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, and will allow Doc to share the material with the communities that preserve these customs, and eventually the general public.’

The project is currently 57% funded with 21 days to go. Find more information below:

Available perks include Ben Edge goodies, a VIP Invite to the Premiere of the film, and the chance to be the guest of honour at Boss Morris’ 2024 ‘Finger In The Spring’ event in Gloucestershire.

Read more/make a pledge here.