Our collections focus on film production, graphic design and printing history, sound arts and graphic narratives, including comic books.
If you are interested in visiting the Archives and Special Collections Centre to see any of these collections, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to request an appointment. For further details please read our updated visiting information
Here's just a snapshot of all of the archives and collections you can explore.
Alfred Brazier Archive
The archive is formed of material accumulated by Alfred Brazier in the course of his career as a Bookbinder and Lecturer. Records relate mostly to his role as Senior Lecturer in Bookbinding at London College of Printing (now London College of Communication), but also to his role as a visiting teacher at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts. As well as documents, photographs and slides relating to courses, the collection contains a body of reference material on various aspects of Bookbinding and on Archive Preservation and Repair. You can search the collection using the online catalogue.
C and A (Clemens and August) Archive
The Archive contains materials relating to C and A marketing activities such as slides, photographs of store fronts and fashion displays, and volumes about the history of the company in the UK. You can search the archive using the online catalogue. (Some material from the Archive is held at London College of Fashion.)
Charles Pickering Collection
Charles Pickering was an Inspector of Education [HMI]. The collection contains material collected by Pickering covering the history of printing, typography and the book trade from the 16th to 20th centuries. It includes early bindings, a collection of posters and memorabilia of the Double Crown Club. There is also material relating to Pickering's work. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Clive Exton Archive
Clive Exton (1930-2007) was a screenwriter for ABC Television's Armchair Theatre series in the 1960s and in later years wrote for television productions of Jeeves and Wooster (1990-1993) and Poirot (1965-1985). The Archive contains draft screenplays as well as press cuttings and press packs. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Comic Book Collection
The collection includes a wide range of comics from the second half of the 20th century covering mainstream and some underground titles from the UK and USA, as well as specialist and international publications. Graphic novel and comic book ephemera also feature, such as posters and free gifts. You can find a collection description using the online catalogue.
David Usborne Collection
David Usborne's collection of over 2000 objects and tools has been amassed over a period of 30 years. It offers a unique perspective on human ingenuity while also illustrating the 'natural' aesthetics of utilitarian objects. Many of the objects relate to obsolete crafts and can provide an ongoing source of inspiration to students of fine art and design. This collection has potential value for many UAL courses, particularly product and industrial design.
Further information about these objects can be found on his website.
Edward Bawden Collection
Edward Bawden (1903-1989) was a British painter, illustrator and graphic artist, famous for his prints, book covers and posters. The collection contains examples of his design work for commercial companies such as Fortnum and Mason and Transport for London. You can search the collection using the online catalogue.
Her Noise Archive
The Her Noise exhibition was held at the South London Gallery in 2005 with additional events across other London venues including Tate Modern. It investigated music histories in relation to gender, bringing together a wide network of women sound artists. The Exhibition's curators conducted dozens of interviews with artists and compiled sound recordings and printed materials which grew to form the Her Noise Archive. It includes over 60 videos, 300 audio recordings, 40 books and catalogues and 250 fanzines as well as administrative records. You can search material held at the Archives and Special Collections Centre using the online catalogue. There is also digitised exhibition content, including video, audio and images, available on the HerNoise website - this includes documentation of subsequent events and responses.
Hubert Foss Archive
Hubert Foss (1899-1953) was a printer and musician. He worked as Musical Editor (1923-1941) for Oxford University Press and was a founding member of the Double Crown Club where printers met and exchanged ideas. His archive contains material relating to the printing of music, personal letters and booklets, and menus of the Double Crown Club. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
John Schlesinger Archive
John Schlesinger (1926-2003) was an English film and stage director and actor. His Archive contains storyboards, contact sheets and photographs, posters, press cuttings and equipment, as well as his personal library. You can search the archive using the online catalogue. Archive material relating to Schlesinger is also held at the British Film Institute Archive.
John Westwood Collection
The collection contains material mostly related to printing techniques, typography and design. It was collected by John Westwood, a former Head of Design at Her Majesty's Stationery Office. The items Westwood collected include programmes, invitations and menus as well as posters for European travel, Transport for London, the Post Office and the Ministry of Information. You can see the collection description using the online catalogue.
Joy Cuff Archive
Joy Cuff trained in design, specialising in painting, and worked as a sculptor for AP Films in 1964, modelling puppet heads for characters in episodes of Thunderbirds. Between 1966 and 1967 she worked on 2001: A Space Odyssey as Special Effects Department Assistant creating table-top moonscape models. She later worked on films including The Vengeance of She, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen and Erik the Viking. The archive includes notebooks, sketchbooks, photographs and props relating to Joy’s work. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Les Coleman Collection
The Les Coleman Collection contains a significant collection of comics from North American underground [1968-1980] and alternative [1980-present] comic book movements. Perhaps the most significant component of the collection is a large collection of work by Robert Crumb. There are also collections of the work of Julie Douchet and Aleksandar Zograf, complete runs of classic counter-cultural comics Arcade, Bijou Funnies and Raw.
In addition to comics the collections also includes various signed and limited edition prints by comic book artists such as Charles Burns, Joe Coleman, Joost Swarte, Archer Prewitt and Aline-Kominsky. There are a large number of art, illustration and humour books from America, Australia, the UK and Europe (predominantly France and Belgium) including work by artists Roland Topor, Charles Addams, Edward Gorey, Saul Steinberg, HM Bateman, Glenn Baxter, Ivor Cutler, Maurice Henry, Sempé and Siné. You can search the collection using the online catalogue.
London College of Communication Archive
The archive contains material relating to the College's activities and those of its predecessor bodies. It features prospectuses, student work, yearbooks, photographs and some administrative records as well as material relating to printing education and apprenticeships set up by the College, its predecessor bodies and external organisations. There is also material which shows developments in printing techniques and design trends; for example: illustration plates, 19th century Christmas cards and posters. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Phillip Knightley Archive
Phillip Knightley (1929-2016) was a journalist, reporter and previously a special correspondent for The Sunday Times (1965-85). Included in the Archive is correspondence underpinning his books First Casualty, The Vestey Affair and his memoir A Hack's Progress. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Robert Fenton Archive
Robert Fenton (1891-1989) worked at the London College of Printing (now London College of Communication) from 1920-1961. Prior to this he was a successful commercial printer working for organisations such as the National Institute for the Blind as Deputy Head of Letterpress, 1918-1920. Included in the archive are examples of his work, typesetting sheets, composing tools and working notebooks. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Stanley Kubrick Archive
The Archive of renowned director Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999) includes material from all stages of the film-making process. Material from the development and pre-production stages of unfinished projects and material relating to the two 'making-of' documentaries produced by Vivian Kubrick, are also part of the Archive. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Tell Us About It Archive
A joint collaboration between Creative Learning in Practice and the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the University of the Arts London Diversity Team, the Tell Us About It project explored the positive learning experiences of students with diverse backgrounds. Since 2007 students from across the University have been involved in the project creating written pieces, photo books, sketchbooks, mind maps, artefacts and DVDs which now form the Tell Us About It Archive. You can search the archive using the online catalogue.
Thorold Dickinson Archive
Thorold Dickinson (1903-1984) started his career as a film editor and made fiction films before working as a film director for the Ministry of Information during the Second World War and the United Nations from 1956-60. He joined the Slade School of Fine Art in 1960 as Head of Film Studies in the newly formed Film Department. The archive includes material relating to these roles. You can search the archive using the online catalogue. (There is also some material held at the British Film Institute.)
Tom Eckersley Collection
Tom Eckersley (1914-1997) was a poster artist and design teacher who established the first graphic design course in Britain at the London College of Printing (now London College of Communication). The archive, formed by Eckersley, includes printed posters representing his commissions for major companies, magazine covers, and original artwork. You can search the archive using the online catalogue. Posters from the Collection have been digitised and are available on the VADS website. The Archives Hub also hosts an online exhibition of the Tom Eckersley Collection.
University of the Arts London Institutional Archive
The UAL Institutional Archive documents the formation and development of University of the Arts London, and its previous incarnation, The London Institute, from the mid-1980s until the present day. The archive was brought together as a result of the Institutional Memory Project, an initiative that ran between October 2015 and August 2016 in order to survey, assess and collect records that told the story of the institution.
The archive is comprised of material concerning the formation, governance, operations and functions of the institution as well as records documenting staff and student experience.
The archive also includes a series of oral history interviews with key decision-makers and long-serving staff which were recorded in parallel to the Institutional Memory Project. You can search the collection using the online catalogue.