The second part of the In Our Minds exhibition has opened in the Elaine Thomas Library, UCA Farnham campus and will run until 10th December so please pop along and take a look. This touring exhibition in partnership with The National Archives shows creative work produced by UCA students and staff in response to records related to mental health held at The National Archives and UCA Archives and Special Collections. Full details about the project can be found on The National Archives blog.





Last week marked the end of the Building a Better World Exhibition in the Elaine Thomas Library at UCA Farnham campus. An event was held on Thursday 3rd November bringing together students who took part in Stefan Szczelkun’s creative residency with bookRoom around the Working Press Archive, books by and about working class artists 1986-1996 which is housed in the UCA Archive. Stefan hosted Agit Disco in which he played records which have inspired and influenced him politically. Students were invited to bring records to the event which had inspired them politically and to explain the reasons for their choice of track.


In addition bookRoom took part in London’s annual Small Publishers Fair on Friday 4th and Saturday 5th November to launch the bookRoom publication RISE WITH YOUR CLASS NOT FROM IT. Details about the publication can be found here.


Building A Better World Exhibition

We are excited to announce the start of the Building A Better World Exhibition today 22nd September – 6th November 2016 in the Elaine Thomas Library, UCA Farnham.


Back in May 2016 the Archive collaborated with bookRoom on the creative residency of Stefan Szczelkun, creator of the Working Press, books by and about Working Class Artists, 1986-1996 whose archive is housed within UCA Archive and Special Collections.  This exhibition brings together the work of students in response to that creative residency.


Democracy In The Kitchen, Annie Haggarty and Elodie Duncan-Duplain


Story, Oriyomi Oladunjoye

The exhibition includes photographs, collages, videos and performance produced by students who explored identity, politics (class, gender, diversity, disability) from personal, historical and current perspective under the guidance of Stefan Szczelkun, archivist Rebekah Taylor and curator of the project Emmanuelle Waeckerlé.


5 Blog Posts, Susan Merrick


The exhibition includes books and pamphlets from the Working Press Archive which inspired the students work and a new bookRoom press publication “Rise With Your Class, Not From It.”

Microsoft Word - RISE PR.docx

We hope to see you at the exhibition soon.

Carryl Church, Assistant Archivist

Archive Update

You may have noticed things have been a little quiet around here lately. At the beginning of summer we bid a fond farewell to our Archivist extraordinaire Rebekah Taylor who left for pastures new. Now we find ourselves at the start of term with lots of new and exciting things under way including two exhibitions and a new collection which has recently arrived at our doors. More details to follow very shortly…

Carryl Church, Assistant Archivist

LGBTQ ALMS Conference Day 1

I was fortunate enough to attend and present at day one of the LGBTQ  (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning) conference held at the Bishopgate Institute, 22nd June 2016.

The day one conference is available here

Events/talks included a talk on the artist Gluck, a woman, who dressed as a man from the Fashion Curator at Brighton Museum. Donations to the museum included dresses, ‘female’ clothes, and there was a mystery in terms of whether she really wore it, was it for significant others? This demonstrated the importance of context. Questions afterwards also highlighted differences in interpretation regarding the artist – whether she actually identified as a man, or otherwise?

Also in the sources panel, of particular interest to me, was Daniel Laurin on ‘Contains Nudity: Experiencing the Erotic in the Queer Personal Archive’. Talking about The Mario Prizek Archive ‘housed in the University of Toronto’s Media Commons’, he looked at nudity within the collection – a range of different types of nudity- ‘photographs of friends showering at the cottage in the 1970s, but also for materials that document Prizek’s sexual exploits’. I was interested in the fact that ‘contains nudity’ was a phrase that describes all this material in the collection – saying as much about the archivist, as the material

Art responses to collections and the ethics of art responses were apparent in Ken. To be destroyed: photography, a transgender relative and a family archive  by Sara Davidmann (London College of Communication, University of the Arts, London, UK) and Documentary Theatrics: I am my own wife’s archival deceptions by Polly J. Thistlethwaite (Professor and Chief Librarian, City University of New York, USA). The former talk looking at transgender correspondence and photographs within their family. Correspondence was entitled ‘to be destroyed’- very powerful – although i believe that it is vital to keep, there is an argument for respecting someone’s wishes – although would their minds change today? Artwork was produced with photographs – manipulating photographs so the transgender person could appear as they wanted to appear. The second talk looked at playwriting/creative writing /documentary theatre , and the dangers of distorting fiction so it appears as facts.

I presented in a terminology panel. There was a talk on language and appropriate terms – UDC: A Universal Discriminative Classification?– by Gregory Toth (Metadata & Discovery Manager, Senate House Library, London, UK). I looked at cataloguing multiple identity collections, involving research into terminology and description, controlled vocabulary, and ways to improve collections’ searchability.



This was a fantastic day and very much enjoyed being here!

Rebekah Taylor

Archivist & Special Collections Officer

Building a Better World – Day 2 and 3

The Building a Better World Creative Residency, has artist in residence Stefan Szczelkun at the fore, creator of the Working Press Archive. The residency is to explore the Working Press archive, books by and about working class artists, 1986-1996, and respond to the collection artistically. The Working Press, which contains correspondence, conference material, publicity, the published book collection (some annotated) and pamphlets and zines collected by Stefan, looks at  difficulties of marginalized groups being published, funding difficulties, and intersectionalities between class, gender, race, nationality and disability. The archive also questions what class actually is-what makes someone working class?

An introduction to the Working Press archive is available here


The two days involved artists Stefan, and David Moore. It included finding  about the participants, and any previous experience with archives they may have had. It included introducing participants to the Working Press, including showcasing the Working Press publications, which is on the library catalogue, which also included an annotated book, The Conspiracy of Good Taste. The unpublished material, such as letters, conference material, posters, can be accessed on the archive catalogue

Items that I drew to participants attention included records from the Culture, Class and Identity conference, and correspondence, and mail art,  from the collection. I also highlighted a selection of zines and pamphlets donated by Stefan collected at the same time as the Working Press.

Ideas included developing projects based on the idea of class and identity, and what being working class actually means – is it a question of financial means? Questions also included what does being a working class artist mean? Other ideas included directly adapting posters relating to a political message, and also developing the idea of mail art. One student, Susan Merrick, from Fine Art has started a blog, looking at charity shopping and class



We are looking forward to see what the students produce!

Creative residency



Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer


Building a Better World – Artist in Residence, Day 1

The Creative Residency or Artist in Residency, is an initiative s internally funded by the University for the Creative Arts, and initiated by bookRoom, With Emmanuelle Waeckerle  and Rebekah Taylor .  Building a Better World, involves artist Stefan Szczelkun,as the artist in residence, and the Working Press archive, books by and about working class artists, 1986-1996. Stefan, who is the co-founder of the working press, leads workshops along with lecturers ( Emmanuelle Waeckerle  , David Moore, Ellen Nolan), and the archivists (Rebekah Taylor, Carryl Church). Students interact with the Working Press archive, books by and about working class artists, discuss themes within the collections, and with tutorials from lecturers, produce artwork in inspiration to the collection. Work produced will be added to the archive, and made available on UCA’s Image Bank.

The first part of the Creative Residency was a study day, involving artists that have worked with archives, including Peter Kennard. Discussed by our Assistant Archivist, Carryl Church… (you can also find a review on bookRoom’s website)

A video introduction to the Working Press archive is available here

Last week I had the pleasure of filming the Creative Residency day “Building a Better World” and listening to some very inspiring talks from artists and archivists in relation to how archive material can inspire creativity.

Peter Kennard: Peter Kennard is a photomontage artist and Senior Research Reader in Photography, Art and the Public Domain at the Royal College of Art. He began his career as a painter but realised the medium of photomontage could be more effective in getting his art out into the world at street level. His most famous photo montage is Haywain with Cruise Missiles created in 1980 in response to the rising tensions around the cold war. He has created work for organisations such as Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and Amnesty International. His talk gave us a fascinating insight into his work as a means of political protest culminating in his current exhibition at the Imperial War Museum Peter Kennard: Unofficial War Artist.


Peter Kennard

Stefan Szczelkun: Stefan works on the MA in Visual Culture at the University of Westminster. Stefan’s interest in publishing led him to set up “Working Press, books by and about working class artists” a fascinating collection of books, pamphlets and zines published between 1986 and 1996 which we hold in the UCA archives. Stefan talked about his work both with the Working Press and his interest in multimedia, digital video and cinema. He also talked about a collaborative project called AgitDisco, a multimedia project which he devised and co-ordinated made up of CDs of playlists of protest music chosen by friends and associates. A book of the playlists was published in 2011. Stefan is the Artist in Residence for this creative residency and it is material from the Working Press Archive which will be used to inspire students to produce their own creative response.


Stefan 2.png

Rebekah Taylor: Our very own Archivist and Special Collections Officer took us through the definitions of an archive, gave us an insight and examples into the Working Press Archive and talked about how archives can play a central role in the inspiration and creation of artists work.

Rebekah 2.png

Rebekah 1.png

David Moore: The Archive and autonomy: David Moore is a London based photographer and lecturer at UCA. His talk focused on his book published in 2013 “Pictures from the Real World” which was in relation to the work he produced for his degree show 25 years earlier. This approach to that archive has led on to other work. His interest is in an approach to the archive and how it can be effective in a variety of institutional ways and understood within a political context. An archive of work being resurrected and how the forces of politics and technology can alter ones reading of the original work. A reinterpreting of the archive.

David 1.png

Ellen Nolan: Ellen is Lecturer in Photography at UCA. She talked about her experiences working with her Great Aunt Nita’s archive. Nita was signed to Paramount Pictures in 1933. Her archive brings together two interesting perspectives, photographs shot by her mother from early childhood through adulthood and film and publicity material from Paramount Pictures. The archive also includes personal correspondence and diaries. Ellen talked through material from the collection.

Ellen 1.png

Overall a fascinating insight into different perspectives of how archives can inspire and influence new works of art.

Carryl Church

Assistant Archivist

Storytelling, Gamification and the Archive

Working in a Creative Arts university, with creative arts archives, with courses that include  Media and Communications, and Creative Writing, looking at integrating archives with games, and interactive storytelling, seems a perfect fit. I am also really interested in looking at ways to bring to life visually our more text based material, which includes our exciting records of the Guildford School of Art protest in 1968, involving a student sit in. This includes records such as student statements, governors statements, and posters. This provides a fascinating insight into student protest, activity, but also the nature of art education itself – theoretical/vocational? However, purely text based material can sometimes be off-putting to visual thinkers – I wanted to find a way to bring our collections to life, and look at how you can be inspired to create creative writing.

future is now at stake

There are various examples of how heritage and games combine, including examples from this Heritage Jam, using different software. I was particularly interested in looking at TWINE, an open source storytelling software, which can run on windows as well as linux. TWINE allows you to create interactive non linear stories, and is intuitive to use, providing instructions. To make the TWINE live you can upload the HTML file to a free TWINE hosting site. TWINE games mean the player (you) takes on a personna, and chooses various options

I was asked to host volunteers for Creative Writing and Media Communications, who had created TWINE games before. Hayden Lee, decided to create an interactive story from the Guildford School of Art sit in protest. Inspired by the newspaper clippings, student posters urging people to boycott Guildford School of Art, and descriptions of students, he decided to create a TWINE game, where you take on the personna of an interviewer/journalist from a newspaper and see how you can get your story…

Take a look at Hayden’s story here

Rebekah Taylor, Archivist & Special Collections Officer



Fashion education – impact on Industry

by Lorna Harrington, MA fashion Kingston, UCA Volunteer


When commencing my final major project for my masters, it was natural for me, as a volunteer at UCA, to consider the archives as a starting point for my research.

As a fashion student, I have chosen to look at fashion education and how it has changed and how this is affecting industry.

This is a topic of particular interest, due to the recent cuts to both arts and education which have impacted on the study of fashion.  Some of these themes have been explored within the archive itself. For example, Jigsaw, a magazine published by second year communication design students in 1976, discusses grants for foundation students as well as cuts to teaching staff.

I am particularly interested in looking through past prospectuses, minute books and newspaper clippings within the archive.


Epsom Prospectuses

Prospectuses from Epsom

The images I find will not only be used for my written report but also to inspire my own designs for graphics and printed material relating to the topic of fashion and education. Some of my final major project outcomes will be in prospectuses, fashion show invites and branding for a new course.

To start with, I have been looking through material uploaded onto the UCA Archive Explored Flickr, to give me an idea of what material exists and what will be of use to me.

One of the many items of relevance to my project, is an interview with Audrey Cresswell, head of fashion featured in Jigsaw Magazine in 1976, which gives information about course content, number of students and the course’s links to industry.



As part of my research methodology, I will be interviewing key figures within the fields of fashion and education and so this particular piece will be helpful in forming my own questions for my interviewees. It will also give a sense of what has and hasn’t changed within fashion education.

I also hope to spend some of my final major project, becoming more involved in the archives through helping to curate online exhibitions as well as developing research guides.

Women of Africa in UCA Epsom Library

Women of Africa in Epsom Library

Epsom library has a stunning collection of images of women from African countries:…/119688205@N…/sets/72157663258089553.

These images include drawings of women from different tribes, women displaying bridal adornment, various hairstyles and hair accessories, as well as a selection of jewellery and costumes. The images also give an insight into the lives of these women as some are carrying out their daily tasks, such as foraging or carrying milk with their cleverly designed equipment to assist them.  The collection is part of the Diagram Group Archive, which is a cooperative group of graphic designers, writers, artists and editors. This can be found in the archive room at Epsom library along with other interesting material including diagrams, charts, tables, maps and illustrations all contained within the Diagram Group Archive.

Fiona O’Rooke, Advisor, Epsom