In the late 1990s, Professor Clive Upton at the University’s School of English and Dr Oliver Pickering from Special Collections realised the need to preserve the Survey of English Dialects, carried out between 1951 and 61, and the records of the Institute of Dialect and Folk Life Studies (IDFLS).
They undertook a three-year project between 2002 and 2005 to assemble and catalogue all the sound recordings, photographs, notebooks, folklife files and other materials that had been collected over the years. This resulted in the creation of a rich and diverse archive – the Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture – housed at the Brotherton Library. The creation of the LAVC meant that all the materials from the SED and Folk Life Survey were gathered together, electronically catalogued, and most importantly, permanently protected. They could now be used for future research.