Launch of the national disability arts collection and archive

The National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA), a £1-million digital archive chronicling the history of disability arts in the UK, launches to the public today.

NDACA is the first archive in the world to offer a major retrospective of disabled people’s art and activism. The Disability Arts Movement – a fascinating story of disabled people forming an exciting disability culture – can now take its place within the diverse landscape of UK cultural heritage.

The Archive and Collection preserves the legacy of disability arts, allowing future generations of disabled people to celebrate the creative and political artefacts of disability. Researchers, heritage professionals and those interested in the UK’s cultural identity will be able to share and study ephemera about disability arts and analyse how the Disability Arts Movement impacted the campaign for disabled people’s civil rights.

Delivered by Shape Arts and built with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as Arts Council England and Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the NDACA is the home of a digital catalogue of 3,500 images, oral history film interviews, educational resources and animations, articles and much more.

Jocelyn Dodd, Director of the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries at the University of Leicester, says: "RCMG are delighted that the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive is now publicly available. This vital resource offers opportunities to tackle negative attitudes to 'difference', a goal that lies at the heart of our research at RCMG. This resource will enable museums, galleries and researchers to access untold stories about disabled people's creativity and the oppression they battled against, and will also empower new audiences to discover the ideas and themes of forty years of disability arts history."

As an open, free-to-use archive, the NDACA is the central location to discover disability arts history.