Collection strengths

  • College archive

    Material relating to the College including promotional posters, exhibition catalogues, prospectuses, photographs, staff records, minute books, letters, reports and general press cuttings.

  • Raqib Shaw painting
    Raqib Shaw

    Contemporary collection

    Art and design work bought from degree shows each year including paintings, prints, artist’s books, sculptures, jewellery, ceramics, theatrical model boxes, textiles and fashion.

  • British artists' film and video collection

    A unique research collection dedicated to the work of UK and international moving image artists.

  • Footprints (‘Country Glimpses’ by Joyce Clissold 1930s)
    Joyce Clissold

    Textiles

    This collection includes work by leading textile designers Colleen Farr, Mary Harper, Diana Armfield, Mary Oliver, Eileen Ellis, Marianne Straub and Joyce Clissold.

  • School of book production

    A substantial number of books typeset, illustrated, printed and bound by staff and students of the Central School in the early 20th century, including work by Douglas Cockerell and J.H. Mason.

  • Fine arts, prints and drawings

    This rich area of the collection encompasses over 500 years of artistic practice, from woodcuts by Dürer and early printed books to work by leading 20th century artists Eduardo Paolozzi, Norman Ackroyd and Bernard Meninsky.

  • Wood engravings

    In the early part of the 20th century the Central School was instrumental in the revival of the art of wood engraving under the guiding hand of Noel Rooke.

  • W.R. Lethaby by Noel Rooke
    Noel Rooke

    W.R. Lethaby

    A comprehensive archive of material relating to W.R. Lethaby – designer, architect, educationalist and founding principal of the Central School of Arts and Crafts.

  • Schuld Und Suhne, 1921-22; German film starring Theodor Loos, Inge Helgard and Felix Norfolk directed by Rudolf Biebrach. Production by Maxim-Film, released by UFA/Hansa-Film.

    German film posters

    The posters in this collection advertise silent films produced in Berlin during the early 20th century. Reflecting an exciting and critical period of development in design and cinema, they played an important role as part of the Central School’s teaching collection.

  • Pleasures of Autumn, 1853, by Utagawa Kuniteru
    Utagawa Kuniteru

    The Japanese print collection

    When Japanese woodblock printing methods were introduced to classes at the Central School a large number of Japanese prints were purchased for its teaching collection.

  • Costume design by Pegaret Anthony for male figure in owl costume. Production unknown
    Pegaret Anthony

    Theatre costume design

    Costume design was one of the most important aspects of the original Theatre Design Course at the Central School. This collection includes examples of work by costume designers for theatre, film and television.

  • Conradt Gessner, Plate LXXIX, 'Langen Krospelfischschen', from Fischbuch, 1563
    Conradt Gessner

    Teaching books

    Our collection of Teaching Books reflects the diverse range of subject areas taught at the Central School. The collection is particularly rich in natural history, architecture, textiles, early printed books and portfolios of design examples.