Monthly update on project progression

Every month I will be providing a brief update on the progression of the archives and special collections project so far

Cataloguing:

The Tessa Boffin archive, photographer, has now been catalogued and can be found online on Archives Hub. The Canterbury College archive has been catalogued and has been submitted to Archives Hub, and will hopefully appear live shortly. Progress is currently being made on the Medway College Archive, and the Epsom and Ewell School of Art and Design.

Prospectuses from Epsom

We have recently received archival cataloguing software, CALM, compliant to archival standards (International Standards for Archival Description), which will be used to catalogue our collections.

Recent deposits:

Rochester Campus has recently been gifted a student sketchbook, showing processes in design in fashion in the 1960s. It provides examples of different fabrics used, and different cutting techniques. It should be of great interest to staff and students.

Maidstone Campus has also received graduation photographs from the 1980s.

Digitisation:

Part of the archives and special collections project will be to identify suitable material to digitise. The depositor of the student sketchbook at Rochester Campus has indicated he will be happy to provide permission for the digitisation of this valuable resource in the future

Archival guidelines:

Guidelines regarding cataloguing, appraisal and preservation have been drawn up, and will hopefully be available for staff to view shortly on MyUCA

Preservation:

Preservation needs of the collections have been assessed. Material will be purchased in the new financial year.

Publicity/exhibitions:

Increasing awareness of our collections means increasing awareness in the local community.

Canterbury College will have a permanent exhibition of artists’ books in the Beaney Museum for the opening in September.

Contact has been made with the other four campuses regarding connections for exhibitions in the local community.

Archives and Special collections website:

An archives and special collections website is currently in development. It will feature subject guides, details on the collections, including the special collections guides, and news and events.

A student art sketch book from the Medway College archive.

 

Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer

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Tessa Boffin archive catalogue online

The archive of Tessa Boffin, photographer who worked in the 1980s, has now been catalogued.  She specialised in sex, sexual fantasy,Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender issues, and looked at the portayal of AIDS, including AIDS in the media. Her archive also sheds light into the technical side of photography

It can be accessed online on Archives Hub at http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb3094boff.

Of note include her technical books on photography, her project books where Boffin analyses the media on topics such as AIDS, feminism, homosexuality, cross-dressing, for inspiration for photography ideas, her project work on ‘The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic’, and her project ‘The Sailor and the Showgirl’, which explores cross-dressing, gender, and safe sex.

The biographical information of her life is as follows:

Tessa Boffin was born 24 December 1960. She was a lesbian photographer, writer, editor, and performance artist. Her work was at the front-line of international queer culture and politics. She initially studied photography in the mid 1980s at the Polytechnic of Central London, under the tutorship of Simon Watney. She undertook an MA in Critical Theory at the University of Sussex in 1987-1988.

Her teaching was as a part time photography lecturer at Adult Education, London from 1986 to 1987, worked at Oxford Polytechnic,1987 and 1989, worked at West Surrey College of Art and Design from 1988, Polytechnic of Central London, 1990, Kent institute of Art and Design from 1990.

She edited Ecstatic Antibodies in 1990 with Sunil Gupta, and co-curated the exhibition, which contributed to understanding of the role images played in the AIDS crisis, and in 1991 edited Stolen Glances: Lesbians Take Photographs, with Jean Fraser, which is contemporary lesbian photography. She was the first British lesbian doing political work around AIDS as early as 1985.

She died on 27th October 1993, while working as a lecturer at the Kent Institute for Art and Design

Tessa Boffin was a remarkable woman, and her archive sheds an evocative light of the portrayal of LGBT issues in the 1980s.

Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer

Highlights from the collection: Architecture (celebrating the birth of Mervyn Peake)

Mervyn Peake, author of the Gormenghast trilogy, was born on July 1911. Mervyn Peake was a writer and artist.

Mervyn Peake’s name appears in the Maidstone College of Art Prospectus 1951 – 52 as a member of the teaching staff for Drawing and Painting

In his novels there are many impressive descriptions of architecture, when describing the gothic Gormenghast. Art and architecture are often linked, as seen in the UCA’s prospectuses describing the MA in Art and Architecture.

This month we celebrate the architecture highlights from the Canterbury College Archive

These include

Student Journals

Canterbury Architectural Association Newsletter (CASA) starting from 1948-1965

Immaterial Newsletter, 1 copy, 1975

They show:

  • Reports of the Student Association, including design projects
  • Visits and reviews of different sites in Canterbury
  • Details of reports over covering bomb damage from the war
  • Details of the School of Architecture moving into a different building
  • Articles regarding current issues, including the use of a private garden, and the case against the individual house (1950s)
  • Current trends in architecture
  • Architecture in Canterbury, including current archaeological digs
  • Technology changes

School of Architecture Prospectuses

They show:

  • Trends in architecture education
  • Requirements to become an architecht

The Summer Studio was a design workshop held in Canterbury. The 1977 one looked at developments in the home

Degree shows and Catalogues

They show:

  • Trends in architecture

 

The Archives and Special Collections Project: Aims and Objectives

School of Architecture Prospectus, 1962

The University for Creative Arts has started a project to make accessible and promote their archives and special collections. The University for Creative Arts is made up of five campuses, Maidstone, Farnham, Rochester, Canterbury, and Epsom, and has been providing a specialised curriculum in creative arts for students since Victorian times.

The collections include the university’s institutional records, including prospectuses, degree catalogues and exhibitions, press cuttings, and minutes, and document issues within the creative arts, including perceptions towards the subjects, the changing nature of courses, and different trends. Also included is the notable archive of Tessa Boffin (1980s-1990s), a photographer, and former lecturer at the university who specialised in LGBT issues, and sex and fantasy. Her archive is an illuminating snapshot into how LGBT issues was perceived in the 1980s, and also includes the perception of AIDS

This blog aims to highlight progress in the project, including  progress in cataloguing, preservation and collection policies, and development of a new Archives and Special collections section of the website, including subject guides, a rare book and archive of the month, and online exhibitions. Events and news, including physical and online exhibitions, will also be recorded.

Canterbury Architectural Students’ Association Magazine, 1949

 

Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer