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MS 674

Reference code

MS 674


Festival of Britain papers



Administrative / Biographical history

The Festival of Britain was a national exhibition, held in the summer of 1951.

The idea was championed by Labour cabinet member Herbert Morrison in 1947, who proposed an exhibition to celebrate the centennial of the Great Exhibition of 1851. In contrast to the 1851 exhibition however, the Festival of Britain focused on Britain's achievements, promoting science, technology, industrial design, architecture and the arts.

The focus of the exhibition was on the South Bank, with associated events in London and across Britain, as well as a touring exhibition by land and sea. It attracted millions of visitors across the country. It helped to give People the hope of recovery and progress in the aftermath of the devastation of the First World War.



Extent & medium

6 boxes and some loose items

Content description

The papers contain predominantly secondary material, including promotional material, newspapers cuttings, postcards and photographs, objects and memorabilia and related publications.

Associated material

The archive of the Festival of Britain is held by the Victoria and Albert Museum
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