New Fanzines at Epsom

zine zine3 zine4 fashion-as-sculpture

We have an exciting addition to the Epsom Archive at UCA – a large selection of student zines. For the Visual Communication brief, the Graphic Design students were set the task of creating a fanzine (a nonprofessional and nonofficial publication produced by fans of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest). This brief was given a fashion biased and students could choose from the following themes:

Sustainable fashion

Music and Subculture

Art and Fashion




Concept stores

Fashion and Architecture



Taste and kitsch




The fanzines are incredibly varied considering the guidelines of each having 20 pages, a 250-word limit and the use of three colours. They are a great resource for anyone researching zines.


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.

Volunteering in the archives- MA Fashion

Volunteering experience of Lorna Harrington, alumni of UCA
As an MA Fashion student and volunteer at the Feminist Library, starting
to work with the UCA archives has been an exciting project.
I have been able to see first-hand at the Epsom campus how the art school has changed over the years through looking at past prospectuses as well as minute books. This has made me start to consider whether the art school is a feminist space, a topic I hope to explore while volunteering at the archives.
I have also had the opportunity to visit UCA Farnham where I was able to look at some of the Tessa Boffin archive and the zine collection. These were of specific interest to me, due to my studies in to feminism and my post graduate studies which have so far focused on creating my own zines and planning an exhibition.
The Tessa Boffin archive, is a collection of personal papers including hand
written notes belonging to former staff member and photographer Tessa Boffin. Part of the collection included her research for a proposed exhibition on a Billboard
which focused on a real life news story surrounding the alleged rape of a young woman by a member of her own sex pretending to be a man. Also included is the project proposal which really gives insight into what goes in to putting on an exhibition.
The zine archive includes a wealth of material and is certainly an inspiration to anyone thinking about creating their own, both in terms of content ideas as well as presentation.
I had the pleasure of looking at The Hissterics a zine created in 2001 by feminist artist Rachael House. Interestingly, since visiting the archives I have met Rachael who
was both a performer and stall holder at The Feminist Library winter fair.
From this meeting I was able to acquire three more of her zines;
C(o)unterculture–women’s land and Red hanky panky issues eight and nine. As part of my volunteering I hope to write a small guide giving an overview of Rachael House’s zine for those using the archive.

It’ll Be Puntastic… Archive Caption Competition!

UCA Archives are launching a monthly competition to find the best captions, or six word stories (see here for examples

We will be launching an external one (including alumni, but internal UCA staff and students are welcome to join in!) and internal, which will be distributed around staff and students

Each month 2 images will be selected from our art school archives – the best caption will be invited to have a tour around the archive and some coffee/cake/chocolate (the food will take place away from the archives!). Either that or let us know if you are interested in any particular parts of our art school heritage and our other collections, and (copyright permitting!) we’ll see if we can digitise that for you!

To enter simply put a comment on our flickr comments – we will announce the best caption via the comment, with our email contact and on our Twitter page at @uca_ae

We will feature several captions at the end of the month in a blog post-if you don’t want your name mentioned, let us know!

Images this month are…

A very beardy student union! Click here to add your comment. Our pitiful entry ‘I like big beards, and I cannot lie’Student Union 


What’s that in the trees? Spider man on a budget this year? Staff and students of Fashion in the 1970s! Click here to add your comment

Fashion and clothing department


Look forward to the captions! Contact your friendly archivists on

Learning and Teaching Resources Released

Learning and research resources from the Archives and Special Collections have been released here

So far these cover: feminism and women studies, politics, race, animals and art, LGBT, war and art, disability, 20th century art education, and art education protest.

We have subject specific sets including Animation, Photography, Graphic Design, Fashion, Architecture and Crafts, and images are also grouped in their specific archive or special collection, or by campus.


Learning and teaching resources screenshot


You can access our learning and teaching resources through our website

Print screen from website

This is a work in progress, so any feedback or requests for subject themes  would be much appreciated. Contact us at

Please note due to the copyright complications in art collections, it is not possible to put on all images online, but all effort is being made to trace copyright holders.




Explore Your Archive: Fashion and Textiles

This Explore Your Archive posting looks at Fashion and Textiles at Medway College of Design, through a alumni case study, in the 1950s and 1960.

Follow the whole story here at UCA Storify Explore Your Archive

The Fashion/Textiles course at Medway College of Design hosted one the famous designers, Zandra Rhodes

Images relating to Zandra Rhodes and dress making displays at the Medway Fashion course can be found in our vast collection of press cuttings dating from 1958, collected by library staff at the institution. Prospectuses also provide details of the courses relating to fashion and textiles during Rhodes’ period at Medway College of Design.

Please note, for newspaper clippings that these records are displayed for learning and education purposes, and we operate a take-down policy

Zandra Rhodes at Fashion Show

1961 Fashion Exhibition

1961 Fashion Exhibition

One of the college’s most famous students, Zandra Rhodes joined the second year of the intermediate foundation course in 1957, bypassing the first year through her advanced artistic ability. Her mother, Beatrice Rhodes, taught dressmaking at the college, which Zandra tried to keep a secret from her peers. After her foundation course, she studied for a further two years for the National Diploma in Design. She originally intended to be an illustrator, but also experimented with printing processes on paper such as lino-cutting and lithography in addition to studying printed textiles. Her interest in printed textile design stemmed from the influence of one of the tutors at the college, Barbara Brown, who taught two days a week at the college, as well as being an innovative textile designer for Heal’s throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Rhodes refocused her studies on printed textiles and went on to win a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, becoming one of the most pioneering and influential textile designers of the late 1960s and 1970s who took her remarkable pop art inspired fabrics and revolutionised the fashion world.

Annual dressmaking display 1961 – incl Zandra Rhodes’ sister. The News

The Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection can be accessed here This is a digital collection of Zandra Rhodes garments. This was done by the Centre for Digital Scholarship at UCA, Farnham Campus

Using Special Collection Material in Teaching

This post looks at how lecturers have used special collections in lecturing and teaching in UCA

Freda Sack has donated her and David Quay’s concept graphic design NatWest drawings to the Farnham Campus, which demonstrate ideas in progress and contribute to typography research.

Graphic Design at Epsom have used these drawings to promote discussion of typography, and to inspire students during their lectures

Student using Freda Sach’s concept NatWest drawings

See this link for further information

See this link for further design sources

Our student art sketchbooks at Rochester from the 1950s, and our fashion sketchbook post 1966. have also been used in MA inductions – these can provide inspiration for future work, and are of interest as they show the trends of the day, and what was popular, and what was regarded as ‘good work’ at that time

See this link for further fashion sources

Archive of the Month – Fashion exam portfolio worbook (post 1966)

Archive of the Month – October

Fashion exam portfolio workbook, Post 1966

This month’s Archive Treasure is a Fashion Exam Portfolio Workbook completed at the Medway College of Design (

The series is available for reference at Rochester Library. For access please email or Rebekah Taylor at

Fashion Exam Workbook, Cotton samples

This exam fashion workbook was donated by William Preston, completed by his late wife, Anne Preston. Anne Preston studied at Maidenhead College of Art, and went on to a specific fashion and design course at Medway College of Art in 1966, then after becoming a teacher at Warrenfield School on the Britwell Estate in Slough. She left teaching when she married William Preston as he was to work overseas.

The fashion exam portfolio is a product of its time, and demonstrates fashion and dressmaking trends and techniques in the 1960s, while also giving a condensed history of fashion since the 1800s.

It provides information regarding

1) Taking measurements of the body, with accompanying drawings


  •  Bodice Block
  •  Skirt Block


  •  Underarm dart
  •  French dart
  •  Waist dart
  •  Neck dart


  •  French sleeve
  •  Bishop sleeve
  •  Full sleeve
  •  Cap sleeve

2) Information on history of cotton, silk, flax and wool, with examples of different types, including


  • Slubbing
  • American cotton roll
  • Cleaned cotton
  • Carding


  • Bleached yarn
  • Linen bed spread
  • Natural flax


  • Swaledale
  • Welsh mountain
  • Romney marsh

3) Information on French modelling

4) Information on buttonholes, including buttonhole sketches

5) Images of designs from newspaper clippings from the late 1960s

Medway College of Design Catalogue Online

The Medway College of Design Catalogue is accessible here at

The Medway College of Design was one of the predecessors to the Kent Institute of Art and Design, and now is Rochester Campus of the University for the Creative Arts. The institute dates from 1853, and dealt with courses regarding design, including art, and fashion, fashion and design being one of Rochester’s specialities today.

The archive dates from 1928 and contains

  • Student fashion shows
  • Press cuttings
  • Student art sketch books from1951-1962
  • Student fashion exam book, 1966, with examples of cotton, wool and silk

Uses can be seen in the subject guides, including Medway local historyart and design, fashion and local architecture

Canterbury College archive online

Canterbury College archive has been catalogued and can now be found online on

Canterbury College was originally formed as the Sidney Cooper School of Art in 1868, and has continued through mergers with Rochester and Maidstone to become Kent Institute of Art and Design, and finally the University for the Creative Arts with further mergers with Epsom and Farnham campuses.

A 1905 visitors’ book from Canterbury, showing names of visitors to exhibitions,

This can potentially provide information regarding family and local history

The collection includes

  • Departmental prospectuses
  • Student work, including degree and diploma shows
  • Research projects
  • Student magazines
  • Minutes from the Art department
  • General college information, including general prospectuses, and financial information
  • Visitor book
  • Library information
  • Staff interviews and lectures
  • Board of Education reports
  • General exhibitions at or associated with Canterbury College
  • Staff photographs

What can the collection tell us?

Canterbury College can provide information regarding architecture and art, graphic design, fashion, art and painting, including sculpture work. Pictures of student work, fashion videos from the 1980s, research projects, and staff interviews and lectures can show various trends and popularity in these subjects. They could also potentially provide inspiration for future work

Course development in the creative arts, development with technology, and the history of the university generally can be seen in prospectuses, education reports, financial information, and library information and minutes from the school of art

Family history and local history can be explored through visitors books, press cuttings, exhibition shows, and student magazines and staff and student photographs

Student activity can be seen through student magazines

Topical thoughts and opinions on the day in the 1980s can be seen through magazines, including thoughts on the falklands, and sexual morality