Reeling in Reels of Film

The Archives at Farnham are currently looking after over 400 reels of Film Reels produced by students by Film Production. These films date from the 1960s to the present day and consist of work from the University for the Creative Arts previous institutes prior to  including Guildford School of Art, Farnham School of Art, West Surrey College of Art and Design and Surrey Institute of Art and Design (for further information about our institution’s history see here )

Key issues here include determining the format (e.g whether it is the final print), the condition (films need to be kept in cold storage otherwise degradation occurs), whether we can view it. Stay tuned to the blog to keep an eye on our progress…

Film reels from the Animation Archive film reels 2 Lisa Moore, Digital Images Officer, with Film Reels of student work dating from the 1960s 4 Lisa Moore, Digital Imaging Officer, with film reels Lisa Moore, Digital Imaging  Officer, with film reels Lisa Moore, Digital Imaging Officer, with film reels


Taking a look into Christmas Cards of the Past

December’s Archive of the Month looks at three individual Christmas cards and also R.B. Fishenden (1880 – 1956), the eminent print consultant and editor of the Penrose Annual, the London based review of the graphic arts, for whom they were designed.

The Christmas cards are included in the Guildford School of Art Archive and have an unknown provenance, but perhaps can be attributed to contacts between Fishenden and the noted Surrey School of Printing, formed through the collaboration of the Department of Printing at the Guildford School of Art and the corresponding department at the Reigate and Redhill School of Art.

RB Fishenden Christmas Cards

Richard Bertie Fishenden was born on 6 August 1880 in Kensington, London and was the son of Richard and Louisa Fishenden (née Freestone). His father was an oil and colourman working in London, so he was already familiar with the technical aspects of colour mixing from basic pigments to manufacture coloured paint.

He was apprenticed at the age of 14 to Gee and Watson Ltd, and at 20 became the Works Manager of this firm of process engravers in London. In 1902 he became a Lecturer in the Printing Department of the Manchester College of Technology, becoming Head of Printing and during his time there conducted formative experiments in the new technique of rotogravure, a type of intaglio printing process. He effectively reinvented the process and devised all his own equipment in order to achieve it. The processes were fully revealed in a paper he delivered on 16 March 1915 before the Royal Photographic Society. His findings were widely reprinted in the Society’s journal and the British Journal of Photography.

In the same year he married Margaret White, later to become the eminent industrial researcher, Margaret Fishenden (1889 – 1977). They had one son, Richard Martin Fishenden, in 1917, and he later went on to be a noted physicist at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. The family moved to London in 1921 and he re-entered the commercial branch of the industry. During these years his interests broadened, becoming an authority on the often ignored subjects of ink and paper. At one end of the process of printed reproduction he was skilled in all applications of photography; at the other, he was expert in the arts of typography.

However the conflicts of a career and marriage and motherhood were too much for that era and Richard and Margaret divorced in 1932. R.B. Fishenden married Marjorie Hodder (1902 – 1988) shortly afterwards in 1933, and she became his personal assistant throughout the remainder of his career.

In 1935 he was appointed editor of the Penrose Annual, and he remained active in this capacity until his death. Under his vigorous direction the annual was divided into two parts, the first devoted to the arts, the second to techniques. In 1942 he joined the Penguin staff as technical editor of the “King Penguin” books. For this series he devised the finest possible colour printing, and secured it at a cost that to the trade seemed impossibly low. After 1943 he was adviser to Messrs. Spicers, the papermakers. His continued interest in new processes and new material, his willingness to encourage research were invaluable in the establishment of the Printing and Allied Trades Research Association at Leatherhead in 1930.

R.B. Fishenden’s life and career synchronized with one of the most momentous periods of change and development which had ever been known in the history of graphic arts. By the time of his death on 7 October 1956 the graphic arts had evolved into today’s specialist practices.

These simple Christmas cards give us a window into the early 20th-century and remind us of a pioneer in the graphic arts.


Fishenden, Richard Bertie, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920 – 2008; online edition, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007.

Mertle, Joseph S. (1957). Evolution of Rotogravure. Ohio: J.S. Mertle.

Mr. R.B. Fishenden. (1956). The Times [London, England], 9 October 1956, p.13. The Times Digital Archive [, accesses 1 March 2013]

Stevenson, Julie. (2004). Fishenden , Margaret (1889-1977). In: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 4 April 2013]

The National Archives, RG11/25/22 page 38. Extract from the 1881 Census for High Row, Kensington, London.

Warde, Beatrice. (1957). In Memoriam Richard Bertram Fishenden. In: The Penrose Annual: A Review of the Graphic Arts. Vol. 51, 1957. London: Lund Humphries.

Reviewed by Frances Teasdale, Head of Collections and Discovery

Long Live the Art School! Exhibition at Surrey History Centre, 19th August-21st September 2013

The Surrey History Centre is hosting a free display in their foyer, from the archives of the University for the Creative Arts to celebrate the history of tertiary art education in Surrey, from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. This will be between the 20th August-21st September 2013

There will also be a free talk on Women, and art and technical education in Surrey, 1890-1920 on the 14th September 2-3pm at the Surrey History Centre. This is by Doctor Stephen Knott Founder Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Craft at the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, who has conducted research on the late nineteenth and early twentieth century history of craft and technical education

The link can be found here!

Looking at the Epsom School of Art and the Technical Institute, Guildford School of Art and Farnham School of Art, the display will look at academic classes and the development in Art Schools and Technical Institutes, (including women in the arts, and the link between industry, science and art) War time art education, and Art Schools and activism.

View images from the Art Schools on our History Pin site|photos/list/ and on our online image page

More information about the history of our academic classes can be viewed on our Explore Your Archive storify page, an initiative from The National Archives


Opening of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute, by Lord Rosebery, 1896

Opening of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute, by Lord Rosebery, 1896

Guildford School of Art, 1958 cover of magazine Field and Farm, by School of Printing Students

Guildford School of Art, 1958 cover of magazine Field and Farm, by School of Printing Students

Explore Your Archive: Photography at Guildford School of Art

Follow the whole story on UCA Storify

Explore Your Archive

The Photography department in Guildford School of Art from the 1950s was a major centre of photographic excellence under Ifor Thomas, the Head of Photography. His wife Joy, was also a lecturer there and together they formed a highly acclaimed team. Among his students were Jane Bown, John Hedgecoe, John Cleare, and Ray Dean. Staff included Thurston Hopkins. One of the part-time staff, always critical to and of the intellectual and creative health of the school was Alfred Lammer, a photographer noted for his pictures of flowers and of stained glass windows. He set up the first school of colour photography in Britain at Guildford in 1952.

Our records from our Archives from Guildford School of Art showcase Photography past exhibitions, dating from the 1970s, can allow for creative ways of working. Use for themes such as time or memory, or put a ‘retro’ way of working in your current work. Materials from the past can be used in exhibitions today. The Whitechapel Gallery recreates exhibitions from the past, using photographic images, which can be used as a way of looking at biases, including political, in past exhibitions.

See, for example,

Black Eyes and Lemonade: Curating Popular Art, Whitechapel, London, until September 2013, taken from the exhibition in 1951

Photography exhibition, undated [1970s]

Photography exhibition, undated [1970s]

Material also includes Aspect, the student Photography journal

Aspect, Photography Journal from the Guildford School of Art. 1960s

Aspect, Photography Journal from the Guildford School of Art. 1960s

Explore Your Archive: The National Archives Campaign

Explore Your Archive caption from  toolkit byThe National Archives

Explore Your Archive caption from toolkit byThe National Archives

Explore your Archive is a campaign to encourage exploration of different organisations’ archives by local communities

‘The aim… is to take audiences on a journey of discovery. We want them to explore their interests and at the same time discover their (local) archive to find out more about the fascinating stories that lie within’.

Every fortnight on this blog as part of this campaign UCA will be exploring the history of the academic classes at each of the six Art Colleges through mergers to the West Surrey College of Art and Design, Surrey Institute of Design, University College for the Creative Arts, and finally the University for the Creative Arts.

Stories will be collated until the 16 November 2013 where there will be a week of displays and events

Classes to explore will include Architecture, Fine Art, Time Based Media, Animation (created by Bob Godfrey), Graphic Design and Photography. It will chart the development of the course, the student experience, and trace the lives of ordinary students.

Also included will be case studies and ideas for how the material can be used for inspiration and artistic purposes

Material related to this campaign will all be made available as one story, on UCA’s Storify Account

Guildford School of Art Art Class, undated [1970s] Guildford School of Art Art Class, undated [1970s]

Archive of the Month, May 2013: Aspect, Photography Journal produced by students at the Guildford School of Art

Aspect, Guildford School of Art Photography Journal, 1960s

Aspect, Guildford School of Art Photography Journal, 1960s

May’s Archive of the Month is student created Photography Journal, Aspect, from the Guildford School of Art archive, created in the 1960s, designed and edited by student Julian Calder.

The journal contains both written and photographic contributions from students, taking a three year course in Photography.

To access Archive of the Month see

It is currently located at Farnham Campus Library

West Surrey College of Art and Design Catalogue Online

Records from the West Surrey College of Art and Design can now be accessed online at

Records consist of Prospectuses, Student Societies, Departmental and School records, including Audio Visual Studies, Three Dimensional Design, Textiles. Fine Art. Design and Foundation Studies, Library minutes, Institutional reviews and reports for Council for National Academic Awards and Governors, Publications and newsletters,Henry Hammond, head of the department of Three Dimmensional Design, retirement photographs

West Surrey College of Art and Design consists of Farnham and Guildford Schools of Art. At the end of 1968 the first moves to merge the two art schools at Farnham and Guildford were underway. Guildford had undergone recent student unrest, and now in the first stages of merger, the fine art students were due to transfer from Guildford to Farnham, and the graphic design students from Farnham to Guildford. However the accommodation vacated by the graphic design students was unsuitable for fine art students, and alternative accommodation was suggested at Hatch Mill, formerly the Farnham Sanitary Laundry for 120 foundation students. However this plan was initially obstructed by the highways committee who considered the location over the other side of the bypass too dangerous for students to negotiate. There were other issues over council concerns over student attitudes (seemingly inflamed by the Guildford unrest).

Foundation students were currently housed in leased accommodation at Wrecclesham Hall. However this space was no longer available, and a second attempt was made under the leadership of Sir John Verney, one of the governors, and despite continuing opposition, a compromise was achieved, and the students were to be allowed the use of Hatch Mill for a period of nine years with a new footpath provided by the council.

In April 1969 200 students moved into the initial phase of the newly constructed building in The Hart. The building had cost £250,000 and was the work of county architect Raymond Ash.

In September 1969 Farnham School of Art formally merged with the Guildford School of Art to form the West Surrey College of Art and Design. The second phase of building commenced.

In the 1970s numbers 23 and 24 West Street were used for student accommodation, after the death of Jessie Goddard, the owner and widow of the local builder, John Goddard.

Ben Franklin was head of sculpture from 1970 to 1981. During that period he sculpted the bronze, entitled Matriarch, and this was erected in Borelli Yard.

James Hockey retired in 1971, having had an extension granted by Surrey County Council in order to ease the integration of the two schools. He had been a seminal figure for nearly 30 post war years and was succeeded by Thomas Arnold who remained as Principal until 1974.

In 1971/1972 a new course in animation was introduced. It was set up by the British Oscar-winning animator, Bob Godfrey (1921 -2013 ).

Leonard Stoppani was Principal from 1974 until 1984. He carefully steered the College into a new era, exercising initiative, restraint to allow the development of new patterns.

Design courses were still concentrated at Guildford, and foundation, fine art and craft courses at Farnham. However by 1976 the long-established courses in photography and graphic design, together with the more recently constructed film & television production, animation and television graphics were brought together under the Audio Visual Studies department under the leadership of Peter Sanger. The remaining courses finally moved from Guildford to Farnham and by 1977 all students and staff from Guildford had moved into the new building. Degree intakes started in 1980.

In 1978 the difficult decision was made to phase out all vocational design courses (Graphic Design, Product Design, Interior Design and Surface Design). They were considered more appropriate to the facilities of a polytechnic.

In 1978/1979 Harold Cheesman, Head of Fine Art retired, and was succeeded by the renowned “Polish Scottish colourist”, Leszek Muszynski, who had taught at Farnham since 1951.

During his time Art History was on the curriculum, and it was the difficulties in accessing the William Morris collection at Kelmscott Manor, that inspired Joseph Acheson, the Senior Lecturer in Art History, to mount an exhibition on William Morris that was held at Farnham in November 1981.

By 1982 there were nearly 640 full-time students attending the college. The Foundation course accepted 120 students a year, and remained in the old grammar school in West Street. The degree courses were organised into four departments: Fine Art (Painting with 20 students, Sculpture with 12 students and Printmaking with 12 students); Audio-Visual Studies (Photography with 25 students, Film & Video with 12 students and Animation with 12 students); Three Dimensional Design (Ceramics, Glass & Metals introduced in September 1981) and Textiles (Woven Textiles, Printed Textiles). Art History and Complementary Studies were an integral part of all the courses.

Michael Fairclough, lecturer, executed an abstract mural reflecting the town’s geographical location. It covers a blank wall of the newly opened Post Office at 107 West Street.

The second stage of the college development was completed in 1977, although the foundation course continued there into the 1990s when it too transferred to Falkner Road.

John Morris became Principal in 1984, remaining until 1986. Gary Crossley became Acting Director, until the arrival of Norman Taylor in 1986.

In 1995 the West Surrey College of Art and Design merged with the Epsom & Ewell School of Art to form the Surrey Institute of Art and Design.

Guildford Prospectus 1956-7

Travelling Exhibition

UCA Library is undertaking  a travelling exhibition of material from our special collections throughout all the campuses

Rochester is sending out 1950s prospectuses and student sketchbooks from the 1950s specialising in a variety of art and design. They are interesting for the history of  Medway College of Design, history of Art classes, including graphic design work, lithography, cut wood engraving, lettering, fabric printing and trends and popularity in art and design in the 1950s

At Farnham 26th November – 7th January

At Maidstone 7th January-4th February

At Epsom 4th February-4th March

At Canterbury 4th March – 1 April


Rochester Student Sketchbook


Maidstone is sending a selection of material from the Tessa Boffin Archive and Personal Library


Tessa Boffin, was an 1980s photographer, specialising in sex and sexual fantasy


1)    Technical Photography Instruction, 1984

This include instructions for working with film photography in the 1980s and information regarding how Boffin would portray different adverts.

 2)    Income Book, 1991-1992

Income and expenditure book relating to what items she required for photography, exhibition space required and petty expenses

 3)    Coursework Book, 1985-1986

Contains notes and photocopies of photographs relating to The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic and Next…Quarantine The Disease of the Soul/Panic. Includes images of newspaper articles in the 1980s relating to AIDS and safe sex, and lesbianism, images from Derek Jahrman, religious imagery, and her own handwritten notes

 4)    Photography prints related to her work The Slings and Arrow of Outrageous Fortune: AIDS and the Body Politic, helping highlight perceptions towards AIDS in the 1980s

 5)    Postcard from Marc Almond, from Soft Cell, 1980s

A letter from Marc Almond, with an image of him on the front, agreeing to pose for Tessa Boffin

 6)    A selection of books from her personal library, some annotated and one with a letter, providing context to her work

At Epsom 26th November – 7th January

At Canterbury 7th January – 14th February

At Rochester 14th February -4th March

At Farnham 4th March – 1st April


Coursework regarding her AIDS work

Canterbury is sending Canterbury Architectural Student Association Journals


Provides information on…


Graphic Design and drawings

Visual images from the 1940s, and drawings of buildings inside journals

Reports on historical architecture, including Roman architecture

Kent and England architecture

  • Includes some drawings/sketches

Architecture in Kent from the 1940s-1960s

‘As a college we are singularly insensitive to our environment. Over the past few years we have seen the systematic murder of that whole area of this city between Burgate Street and George’s Street‘ (CASA 1960s)

Family history

  • Student reports detail students and lecturers names

Student Activity

  • Information on the Student Union
  • Reports of student trips, and activities, including reports on architecture abroad
  • Reports of student sport and social activities
  • ‘On Saturday…1947… a group of… students congregated at ‘Georges’ to consume a flagon of “pig’s ear”‘ (CASA 1948)
  • Visits to exhibitions
  • Creative writing regarding architecture, and other works from students


At Rochester 26th November – 7th January

At Farnham 7th January – 4th February

At Maidstone 4th February – 4th March

At Epsom 4th March-1 April


CASA 1957


Farnham is sending Guildford School of Art Photography, and Book binding and Printing Prospectuses

Provides Information on

–         History of Art Schools

–         History of the Guildford School of Art

–         History of Photography, Bookbinding and Printing

–         Graphic Design and Art interest with visual covers

At Maidstone 26th November-4th January

At Epsom 4th January – 7th February

At Canterbury 4th February – 4th March

At Rochester 4th March -1 April

Epsom is sending prospectuses from the Epsom and Ewell School of Art and Technical Institute, 1930s onwards

Provides information on

–         History of Art Schools

–         History of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute

–         History of Art School classes including Art and Design, Architecture, Women’s Crafts

–         Graphic Design and Art interest with visual covers

At Canterbury 26th November – 7th January

At Rochester 7th January – 4th February

At Farnham 4th February – 7th March

At Maidstone 7th March – 1 April

Epsom prospectuses from 1925



Student Protest and Student Activity Exhibition

The University for the Creative Arts Library and Archives has undertaken an online and physical (at Rochester and Canterbury campuses) exhibition of student protest and student activity through the decades (approximately 1950s to the present day) for the Student Union’s 40th anniversary, and in celebration of student activism.

The online exhibition is available here

The exhibition is on-going and will be regularly added to throughout the year. We would welcome any donations or loans from students and staff or ex-staff at any period in the University for the Creative Arts history

The online exhibition showcases student protest, including the minutes of the Guildford School of Art sit in protest both from the students, who were protesting against the quality of art teaching, and the lack of student control, and minutes from the governors,

A young Jack Straw was also involved  

In his autobiography Last Man Standing: Memoirs of a Political Survivor (Chapter 3, Respected but Not Respectable  Macmillan, 2012)he mentions the following about his time at the NUS (p.74) :

 My first six months at the NUS were uncomfortable. I was an intruder. I had stood up against the successful candidate, Trevor Fisk, and was now his deputy. I was given marginal responsibilities, like art colleges, in the hope I’d get bored and go away, but suddenly the art schools erupted. There were long occupations at colleges like Hornsey and Guildford colleges of art. I had something useful to do, and also developed firm friendships with some of those involved, like Kim Howells, later MP for Pontypridd and a fellow Foreign Office minister, and Kate Hoey, later MP for Vauxhall and minister for sport.

The following links are useful for information regarding the Guildford School of Art

For those interested in student protest UCA also has books regarding the Hornsey Art Protest alongside the same dates as Guildford School of Art

THE HORNSEY AFFAIR, by students and staff of Hornsey College of Art. Penguin, 1969. 707.11 HOR Canterbury Library

Tickner, Lisa. Hornsey 1968 : the art school revolution. Frances Lincoln, 2008. 700.1142188 TIC Farnham Library 700.71142 TIC Maidstone Library

Piper, David Warren. After Hornsey. Davis-Poynter, 1973. 707 PIP Farnham Library

 The online exhibition also showcases photographs of a drawing protest held in Trafalgar Square against the forming of the Kent Institute of Art and Design in the 1980s, loaned by retired lecturer Robin Sewell, showung members of our staff, then students.

Protest against the forming of the Kent Institute for Art and Design, 1980s

The exhibition also includes student union statements from prospectuses throughout the ages, which highlights how they perceived themselves, and how they were perceived by various bodies

Rochester Campus Cafe currently hosts newspaper images regarding student protest throughout the decades, and images will shortly be up within the library

Canterbury Campus will have images of student activity and protest from the 1950s within the reception area around November 23rd, 2012