Comedian and actor Roy Hudd hopes his collection of more than 20,000 song sheets and posters will be deposited at the University of Kent archive.
The archive, which has major collections of music hall and pantomime ephemera, was in talks with Hudd, the university confirmed.
Hudd, 83, who lives near Stowmarket, Suffolk, said Kent was “keen on the collection and has good facilities”.
The collection had been due to go to Suffolk New College in Ipswich.
But Hudd said the college told him it would need to “cherry-pick” the collection as it did not have room for all of it.
- Born in Croydon, Surrey (now part of Greater London) in 1936
- One of his earliest jobs was as an artist working under Harry Beck, who produced the famous London Underground map
- His BBC Radio 2 satirical comedy series The News Huddlines ran from 1975 to 2001
- He has written extensively on the music hall and re-recorded music hall records
- Co-wrote and played the part of Bud Flanagan in the musical Underneath the Arches
- In the 1990s he won praise for acting roles in Dennis Potter’s Karaoke and Lipstick on Your Collar
“I said ‘You take the whole thing or not at all’ because it is a complete collection,” said Hudd.
“So it will go to the University of Kent which have fantastic facilities and are able to take the whole collection.”
The university already has the David Drummond Pantomime Collection, spanning four centuries of British pantomime history; a playbill collection and a collection from Max Tyler, the historian and archivist of the British Music Hall Society, of which Hudd is president.
On music hall’s appeal, he said: “The songs were terrific. They told good stories.
“The music hall songs have always appealed to me. I was brought up by a gran who always used to sing songs.”
Hudd said the spirit of the music hall was still retained by comedians like Peter Kay “who is very, very funny in the way of many music hall comics”.