Your opportunity to Meet the Archivists

meet the archivistsMeet the Archivists: Unlocking the research potential of business archives for artists, architects and designers

The Business Archives Council of Scotland is holding its 2nd Meet the Archivists workshop on Friday 20th September at the Edinburgh College of Art.

This year the focus is on creative and design use of business archives. So this event is aimed at college of art students, architectural and design students but all students are welcome to attend.

The aim of this event is to bring together archivists, academics and this year artists to discuss and explore with students how business archive collections can be used for their research. Glasgow School of Art’s Archivist Susannah Waters will be discussing Arts organisations’ archives in Glasgow with a focus on Glasgow School of Art and the Centre for Contemporary Arts.

The programme will feature talks from archivists and artists on the projects inspired by or that have made use of archive collections:

  • Cabinets, drawers and dark places – the artist’s perfect resource – Bartholomew Archive, National Library of Scotland
  • The Illustrated Archive – The John Gray Centre
  • The Sir Basil Spence Archive – Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland
  • Stoddard-Templeton Archive: inspiring new works – University of Glasgow
  • Heriot-Watt Textile Archive – Heriot-Watt University
  • Arts organisations’ archives in Glasgow: Glasgow School of Art and the Centre for Contemporary Arts – Glasgow School of Art
  • Drawing, Painting, Designing and Creating the Story: Research and Inspiration in the Art College Archive – Edinburgh College of Art

There will also be an discussion panel in the afternoon and over lunchtime an opportunity to meet and chat with archivists about their collections, plus practical demonstrations of how to find business archive collections online. A series of animation shorts inspired by the Edinburgh College of Art Archive will be screened over lunch.

A full detailed programme is available on the Scottish Council of Archives website

To register for this free event, please visit the following link:

BACS Meet the Archivists workshop for artists, architects and designers


The Business Archives Council of Scotland is holding its 2nd Meet the Archivists day on Friday 20th September at the Edinburgh College of Art.

The aim of the Meet the Archivists event is to bring together academics and archivists to discuss and explore with students how business archive collections can be used for their research. This year they are focusing on creative and design use of business archives, so the event is primarily aimed at college of art students, architectural and design students.

working-archive-logo-transparent-largeThe workshop is part of the current Working Archive campaign to increase awareness of the importance of business archives. You can find out more in our previous blog post about the campaign and the coinciding Scotland at Work exhibition, and on the Working Archive blog.

Further details will be available soon on the Scottish Council on Archives website. We’ll keep you posted!

Final programme for “Giving up the Archive?” study day announced

We now have a final programme for ‘Giving up the Archive?’ study day on 1 July examining the archives of arts organisations – see details and information on bookings below:

Giving up the archive?

Reflections on the creation, examination and dissemination of arts organisations’ archives.

1 July 2013, White Cube Gallery, Bermondsey SE1 3TQ

Many arts organisations are interested in locating and exploring their archival heritage. What are the driving forces behind this interest? How much archive material survives, where and in what condition? What can archives tell us about the history of these organisations and how important are they to their contemporary activities? This study day aims to explore these questions, providing reflections and case studies from academics, curators, artists and archivists.

Organised by ARLIS\UK & Ireland in partnership with The Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow’s Centre for Contemporary Art.  Supported by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

10.30-11.00 Coffee and registration

11.00-11.20 Welcome: ARLIS

Introduction to the morning session: Dr Dominic Paterson (Chair)

Dr Dominic Paterson works at the University of Glasgow where he teaches 20th and 21st century art and theory.  He wrote his doctoral thesis on the place of aesthetics in the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault, and his research interests include critical theory as well as modern and contemporary art.   Dominic organised and introduced a series of talks and film screening events as part of the Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art , which expanded upon the Festival’s theme of ‘past, present, future’. Including artists Susan Phillipsz, Gerard Byrne and Jimmie Durham.

11.20-11.50 Stories from the archive: Dr Francis McKee

Francis McKee will examine the process of archiving both the Third Eye and CCA material in Glasgow which ranges from 1973 to the present. He will look in particular at the discovery and digitisation of 150 video tapes from the early 1970s and how they transform our understanding of that period in terms of Scottish and British video art history. Following on from this he will look at the wider understanding the archives give us of the development of contemporary UK art over the past 40 years and the genesis of the national and international networks that enabled this growth.

11.50-12.20 The artist’s voice : Ross Sinclair

Working in Glasgow and internationally as a practicing artist, Ross Sinclair has utilised sculpture, video, painting and text to interrogate how different formal approaches can contribute to the construction and dissemination of meaning and the paradigm of art practice in context in relation to audience. Sinclair is currently looking back on the development the dynamic and critically respected art scene in Glasgow over the past twenty five years through the methodology of interviews with his artist peers.  A selection of extracts with artists such as Martin Boyce, Susan Philipz and Douglas Gordon will be screened for the first time, alongside a reflection of Sinclair findings during his research.

“What lies at the heart of any situation, any scene, any place, any history, any geography, any relationship? How do we come to understand it? What elements have inexorably bound together to form it’s essential core and how can we begin to unravel it, dissect analyse and contextualise the meaning? Is this Miracle-ism to be seen in relation to what came before…and what happened after – and what is happening now, and what might develop in the future…?”

12.20-13.00 Keynote: Gerard Byrne, Case Study: Loch Ness (Some possibilities and problems)

Revisiting and reanimating historical moments to be considered in the present, Gerard Byrne’s work has been exhibited at Documenta 13, the 54th Venice Biennale, and in previous Sydney, Gwangju, Lyon, and Istanbul biennales. Recent solo exhibitions include Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 2013, Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, 2012, IMMA, Dublin, the Renaissance Society, Chicago (2011), and at the 2007 Venice Biennale, where he represented Ireland.  In 2006 he was a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn award. He is represented by the Lisson Gallery in London, Green on Red Gallery in Dublin, and Nordenhake Gallery, Stockholm. He has been a professor at the Royal Danish Academy for Fine Art since 2007.

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-14.10 Introduction to the afternoon session: Dr Julie Bacon (Chair)

Julie Louise Bacon’s research focuses on the relationship between: aesthetics and politics, art and philosophy, technology and consciousness, mythologies and archiving.  Julie Louise has curated wide-ranging events including: the art and network technology symposium SIGNAL (La Chambre Blanche, Quebec, 2012); the public art symposium The Clearing (London, 2010) ;the five-part AHRC conference and exhibition series Performing the Archive (sites throughout the UK, 2006-07), the Fix performance biennial (Catalyst Arts, Belfast, 2004), The Suicide of Objects (Catalyst Arts/The Ulster Museum, Belfast, 2004).

14.10-14.40 Archiving new media:  Beryl Graham

CRUMB is a resource for curators of new media art, and includes a web site and a discussion list with over 1300 international subscribers. How can such ‘crowd-sourced’ knowledge be digested and re-presented? Given that many art forms and archives are participatory, including new media systems, how might audience-generated archives reflect a future ‘history of exhibitions’? Beryl Graham is co-editor of CRUMB, co-author with Sarah Cook of the MIT book “Rethinking Curating”, and recently edited a book on “New Collecting” for Ashgate Press.

14.40-15.10 Documenting the visual arts in Ireland: Donna Romano

Donna Romano is Acting Librarian at the National College of Art & Design Ireland, which is home  to The National Irish Visual Arts Library (NIVAL), a public research resource dedicated to the documentation of 20th century and contemporary Irish visual art and design.  NIVAL collects, stores and makes accessible for research an unparalleled collection of documentation about Irish art in all media.  NIVAL’s collection policy includes Irish visual art from the whole island as well as Irish art abroad and non-Irish artists working in Ireland.   Information is acquired on artists, designers, galleries, arts organisations and institutions, critics and other related subjects.

15.10-15.40 Shared archives: Marysia Lewandowska

Marysia Lewandowska is a Polish born artist based in London since 1985 who, through her collaborative projects, has explored the public function of media archives, collections and exhibitions in an age characterized by relentless privatization. She has been collaborating with Neil Cummings 1995-2008. Research has played a central part in all her projects which include the book The Value of Things (Birkhauser/August 2000), Capital at Tate Modern (2001). Enthusiasm project has been shown at the CCA Warsaw, Whitechapel,London, Kunst Werke in Berlin and Tapies Foundation Barcelona in 2005-2006. The film Museum Futures: Distributed Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 2008, and Tender Museum at the Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, 2009. Intellectual Property was a subject of How Public is the Public Museum? Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2010.  Since 2003 she is a Professor of Art in the Public Realm at Konstfack in Stockholm.

15.40-16.10 Panel discussion (afternoon’s speakers including key note)

16.10       Drinks reception


When: 1 July 2013, 10am-4pm approx.


ARLIS members £75

ARLIS students £43

Non-ARLIS £90

Non-ARLIS student £53

Email the giving_up_the_archive_booking_form to or post to Lorraine Blackman, ARLIS Administrator, GSA Event, Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL.

Refreshments will be provided during the day: a drinks reception will be provided after the event, please indicate in your booking email if you do not wish to attend.

Artists using archives: The Illustrated Archive

Illustrator Lucy Roscoe has been exploring the collections at the John Gray Centre in East Lothian. Taking inspiration from a range of items such as 19th century letters and a Baillie Court Book from 1647, Lucy has recently completed a series of watercolours entitled ‘The Illustrated Archive’. Lucy has been investigating and taking inspiration from the Haddington Criminal Register and has uncovered lots about East Lothian’s criminal underworld of the late 1800s.

One of the watercolours in the series is “Theft of Umbrellas” which depicts Michael Bolan, of no fixed residence, who was arrested on 4 January 1898 accused of stealing umbrellas from a shop in Market Street, Haddington. The 29 year old from Dublin received a punishment of 30 days in jail.
The collection thus far is available to view on the John Gray website. You can also find out more about Lucy’s work by visiting her website.