Jim Spaceborn and the Unknown Box Contents: A Volunteer’s Experience

Listing the contents of a box of animation archive material

The archives and special collections are happy to be hosting volunteers doing work experience as part of their Photography degree. Elizabeth James has been working with animation material from Jim Spaceborn (a series in the Bob Godfrey animation archive) to list the content of the material:

During my time in the UCA Animation Archive, I have had the pleasure of listing an old box full of animation cels and various other materials featuring the 1980’s LEGO® character Jim Spaceborn, created by Danish Illustrator, Frank Madsen. Prior to 1987, this character was firmly set onto the pages of comic books, even though only three seem to have been produced, it appears that with further research, it seems to be fondly remembered by numerous people who read it as children in the mid-1980’s.

Material from Jim Spaceborn

Material from Jim Spaceborn

The general storyline follows LEGO® character Jim Spaceborn on his journey through space on the ‘Spearhead’ (his blue and white spaceship) with a Robot named ‘Keko’.

The box features an unpublished Pilot Episode of a cartoon version of  Jim Spaceborn. The quality of these cels was immaculate. As a photography student, I have never really looked into animation before but I can see now that it takes a lot of effort and production skill into creating even a short episode such as the one featured in the archive box.

Seeing the amount of effort just in how the animators have created a few expressions, just through eye shape or eyebrow placement, you can really empathise with how much time this short pilot episode would have taken.

I would encourage anyone who has an interest in Art or indeed Animation to look into the archives, as they are a rich resource to use in your own working practice.

Initial box listing notes

Initial box listing notes

Elizabeth James, Photography Student at the University for the Creative Arts.

The Jim Spaceborn series now catalogued and available for viewing via the Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue. For access to the collection, please email archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

Images are for educational use only and are copyright University for the Creative Arts. Jim Spaceborn material courtesy of the Bob Godfrey Family. For further information please contact archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

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What’s in the Epsom Archive? Not just a Room of Dusty Old Books.

Not just a Room of Dusty Old Books.

As the archive room is relatively new at Epsom, tucked away near the equipment hire, it might not have surfaced on your radar. I thought I’d share with you some of our finds to entice you to visit us.

Leighton and I are Gateway Advisers by day but have volunteered to help in the Epsom archive room (as Rebekah Taylor the actual archivist is based in Farnham.) We open the room twice a week to students and staff and during that time have come across some real treasures.

For instance, who is this glamorous member of staff photographed on a Fashion Department outing to Ascot in 1962?

Espom School of Fashion staff

This is just one of the photographs and newspaper clippings lovingly preserved in a scrapbook covering 1961 to 1995. It’s a real insight into UCA Epsom through the ages. A brilliant place to start your research as there are examples of fashion through the ages, student unrest, politics, sexism…. It’s all there when you start to read.

Graphic design students may be interested to know that the archive room houses a vast collection of books published by ‘The Diagram Group’. If you are unfamiliar with their work, they specialise in detailed diagrams, charts, maps and illustrations. The group is also responsible for the hilarious ‘Diagram Award’ presented each year to the book with the oddest title. Awards in the past have been given to ‘Living with Crazy Buttocks’ in 2002, ‘Bombproof your Horse’ in 2004 and ‘Managing a Dental Practice: The Genghis Khan Way’ in 2010.

Not only do we have the books but all the original artwork and layouts. From ‘Card Games’ to ‘Early Man’, ‘the Sex Lives of Animals’ to ‘How to be a Success’!

Epsom Diagram Group How to be a Success

We have zines and artists’ books galore, some created by UCA staff, which are marvellous sources for fine art, illustration and graphics. We have student publications like ‘Jigsaw’ from 1976 created by 2nd year Communications Design students. Their brief was to create a newspaper each day for one week and they feature news, interviews, recipes, tips, cartoons and small ads.

For Royal family fans, there are copies of fragile, old newspapers from the 1930’s of King George V’s demise, King Edward’s abdication and the Coronation of King Edward VI. We have the 1953 edition of ‘The Times’ and the ‘Picture Post’ covering Queen Elizabeth’s coronation and the more recent Royal Wedding Souvenir of Charles and Diana.

There are a plethora of Victorian handwritten letters and postcards regarding Art school business. They are such wonderful examples of Victorian copperplate writing; unfortunately now a dying skill. This memo dates from 1896 and is just one of many acceptances to the opening ceremony of ‘The Epsom Technical Institute and School of Art’ in 24th July and shows beautiful penmanship.

Epsom handwritten

So why not give us a visit? We are open during term time on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2-3pm or by special request. Ask at the Gateway desk or email archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

Tiffany Gregory, Advisor, Library & Student Services, Epsom campus

Roobarb in I Love 1974: A Volunteer’s Experience

Creating Family Activities with Material from the Roobarb Series

The archives and special collections are happy to be hosting volunteers doing work experience as part of their Photography degree. Sophie Maggs has been working with animation material from Roobarb (a series in the Bob Godfrey animation archive) to create family activities for a display at Surrey History Centre:

My week in the Archive

My name is Sophie and I am a second year photography student and have just spent the last four days working in the Archive department. For my professional futures unit this year we were required to find work experience in an area that has an interest to us.

Material from the Roobarb Series

Material from the Roobarb Series

The archive department has an archive on the TV animation Roobarb. In the archive there are some of the original sketches and storyboards used to create the TV animation. I have been looking through all of the stuff to get inspiration for family activities that The Surrey History Centre can use for an event on Roobarb looking at 1974. From looking at all of the stuff in the archive I have been able to come up with lots of different family activities that are mostly Roobarb related or number related to go with the theme of the year.

Catalogue Hierarchy for Roobarb

Online Catalogue Hierarchy for Roobarb

I looked at some of the activities that The Surrey History Centre had for an event on the Tudors to get some inspiration and an idea of what they were looking for in terms of activities. After looking at everything that I had access to I was able to come up with and create lots of different activities.

I did create my own word search but instead of doing it in the basic grid  I created one in the shape of a car and the other in the shape of a star – I thought it would make it more interesting to look at and for people to do.

I found looking at [Roobarb] interesting and exciting because not many people can say that they have seen some of the original sketches from the TV animation, Roobarb. These are some of the activities that I created in the last four days. Including spot the difference, a quiz and copies of the original hand draw sketches to colour in.

Activities inspired by Roobarb material, including a wordsearch, spot the difference, guess the colour, and create your own storyboard.

Activities inspired by Roobarb material, including a wordsearch, spot the difference, guess the colour, and create your own storyboard.

Sophie Maggs, Photography Student at the University for the Creative Arts.

The Roobarb series has now been catalogued and is available to view via the Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue. For access to the collection, please email archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

Images are for educational use only and are copyright University for the Creative Arts. Roobarb material courtesy of the Bob Godfrey Family. Roobarb and Custard copyright A+Btv and Grange Calveley. For further information please contact archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

Working with Zines: A Volunteer’s Experience

The archives and special collections are happy to be hosting volunteers doing work experience as part of their Photography degree. Becky Dann has been working with zines and pamphlets from the personal library of Stefan Szczelkun, co-founder of the Working Press, books by and about working class artists.

Hi my name is Becky Dann and I am currently a 2nd year BA Hons Photography student. I have been volunteering in the Archives as part of my Professional Futures unit, which requires us to look for work experience to prepare ourselves for when we leave University and have to face ‘the real world’ as they say.

During my time in the Archives I have been working with different zines and pamphlets that are part of the special collections.

My role during this time was to look at the zines and pamphlets and note down things such as date of publication, if there is any copyright and any other interesting details, for example if there are any handwritten elements to them or just any little interesting factors to them.

There were a few zines that I found interesting when going through them. The first one being a German zine by Smile Magazin. For me it was my favourite for the aesthetics more than the information inside. The front cover uses Riso Printing and I love the gradients from the yellow through to green ending in blues. I also really like the fact that inside there is a small piece that has been hand stuck in with some hand writing on, and also the piece that has the yellow banner on and ‘art strike’ both have been stuck on by hand.

Smile magazine

The second zine that I liked was ‘The Face Of the Congress’ – with its bright pink cover it was instantly eye-catching. Throughout my time looking at zine’s something that was re-occurring was mail art, where people would send their work through and it would get published. I like that the work was collaborative and also the zine was posted and has a hand written address on the back along with stamps too. I just really liked this as it was unusual to see.

I just wanted to say thank you to Rebekah and Hannah for letting me work along side them for the week- I have enjoyed my time.

Becky Dann, Photography Student at University for the Creative Arts.

The Working Press Archive catalogue entry is available to view via the Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue. For access to the collection, please email archives@ucreative.ac.uk.

All images are used for educational purposes only.

‘Great’ Women throughout History

Women’s History Month Archive Events

In March UCA Archives and Special Collections celebrated Women’s History Month by hosting different events and promoting themed material as part of our #UCAWHM social media campaign.

As part of our celebrations marking Women’s History Month, we held a pop-up event on 18th March to showcase animation archive material featuring prominent female historical figures such as Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Margaret Thatcher.

Women's History Month Display

Great Women Throughout History Pop-Up Display

Material from the animation Millennium – The Musical included artwork from a musical sequence about the Tudor dynasty. In the sequence, Queen Mary I is depicted as ‘Bloody Mary’ with crowds watching in horror at the sight of flames burning Protestants. The portrayal of her character is shown in the image above. The artists have designed Mary with an unpleasant, almost conniving facial expression, with the scene consisting of Mary chuckling as she rubs her hands together. In contrast, Queen Elizabeth I has an upbeat section, celebrating the reign of ‘Good Queen Bess’ as ‘the Virgin Queen’. In the artwork displayed next to the image of Mary, Elizabeth is smiling as she playfully winks at the viewer in the scene. These contrasting images present an interesting comparison of the two rulers, and are one example of how they have come to be portrayed throughout the years following their rule.

We also looked at material from the Oscar award-winning animation Great, which features caricatures of Queen Victoria. The other figure we focused on was Margaret Thatcher, whose character is portrayed in the animated series Margaret Thatcher: Where am I Now? The Steve Bell animation takes a satirical look at the life and work of Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

Our Flickr account with images used in our advertising talk

Our Flickr account featuring images used in our advertising talk

On 19th March we also held a talk featuring material from our other collections, such as the Tessa Boffin archive and the West Surrey College of Art and Design archive. ‘Men Act, Women Appear: Women in Art and Advertising’ discussed the gender portrayal of woman in advertising, with reference to college prospectuses and course guides.

We advertised these events via our social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter using #UCAWHM as our hash-tag of choice. Throughout the whole of March we posted quotes and images from our collections, which were also available for viewing on our Flickr account. Finally, we pulled together the results of our campaign into a story, using Storify.

Our media campaign with #UCAWHM

Our extensive media campaign with #UCAWHM

 We hope that through our efforts we have contributed towards the celebration of Women’s History Month and highlighted women whose lives have played a prominent part in society.

The archive material featured is available to search on the UCA Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue.

All images are for educational purposes only. Artwork copyright Bob Godfrey. Millennium – The Musical copyright Channel Four Television Corporation.
Contact UCA Archives and Special Collections for more information at archives@ucreative.ac.uk

Hannah Ratford, Archive Cataloguer