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Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles

Date posted: 03/12/2010

The Visual Arts Data Service (VADS) is pleased to announce that a further 200 objects from the material archive at the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles at Goldsmiths, University of London, has been digitised and made available online.

The Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles documents, promotes, and fosters the pioneering history of textiles at Goldsmiths from the 1940s to the present day, and works with alumni, contemporary practitioners, museologists, curators, writers, performers, oral historians, anthropologists and technologists on the generation, presentation, and promotion of textiles as a primary source of cultural knowledge and heritage in the UK, and internationally.

The Centre's material archive was originally formed in the 1980s and reflected the pedagogic principals of Constance Howard and Audrey Walker, two former Heads of Textiles at Goldsmiths College, University of London. At the heart of the material archive is the story of the evolution of contemporary textiles as they progressed over the life of this remarkable textile course. The Collection also includes an eclectic, international treasure trove of textiles that are extraordinarily rich in breadth and diversity, ranging from full-scale quilts and hangings to tiny fragments of embroidery and lace. Several special archives are now contained in the Collection, these include a special archive of Japanese techno-fabrics and donations by ex-graduates from the 1980s and 1990s, the 62 Group archive, ‘Common Threads’ the Mary Harris maths/textiles archive, The Ann Sutton Foundation archive, Fibre Arts archive, some of Dorothy Benson’s remarkable sampling and work for Singer Sewing Machines and many other remarkable bodies of work that contributed to contemporary textile as it is today.

These newly digitised objects add to an existing collection of digitised material from the Centre which is available on VADS, and now totals some 2000 digitised items. Users can also access multiple shots of the same objects from different angles and images showing rich details.

VADS is a research centre within the Library and Learning Services Department at the University for the Creative Arts, and specialises in the management, storage, presentation, and archiving of digital images and other arts-based digital assets. The VADS website provides online access to over 120,000 digitised images of rare and unique collections from across libraries, museums, and archives in arts universities, colleges, and art departments, for use in learning, teaching, and research.

To view items from the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre’s material archive, visit:

To view all the VADS collections, visit: