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University of Brighton Design Archives receives £315,000 funding

The University of Brighton Design Archives will receive £315,000 from the Research England Museum, Galleries and Collections Fund.

Retaining its position among the country’s top archives to receive support, the Design Archives will receive £63,000 in each of the next five academic years.

The award recognises that the Design Archives team, collections and facilities provide a unique and significant contribution to research, scholarship and research impact in the UK and internationally. Funds are only granted to institutions that serve both their own and the wider research community. The funding followed a competitive review of university museums and galleries, led by Dr Nick Merriman, Chief Executive and Director of Content for the Horniman Museum and Gardens.

The Design Archives holds the most significant body of material relating to post-war design organisations in any British university. Amounting to over a kilometre of archives, the collection focuses on design in Britain and on global design organisations in the twentieth century. The small curatorial team initiates and promotes collaborations with researchers across the arts and humanities and beyond, and works closely with the Centre for Design History.

This is the third award of its kind; core funding from Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Research England’s previous incarnation ­– was secured for the Design Archives in 2010, and again in 2017. The Design Archives also became an Accredited Archive Service in 2020.  

Sue Breakell, Archive Director, said:

“As well as the unique contribution we make to the University of Brighton community through research and teaching, the Design Archives works with educational, creative and cultural heritage partners, nationally and internationally. And sharing our collections with artists, designers, curators, journalists and writers, publishers, programme-makers and other cultural practitioners helps bring them to ever wider audiences.

Archives help us see how the past shaped the world we live in today and our future direction. Our innovative research and our stewardship of the extraordinary collections in our care deepen understandings of design and its social contexts. We are delighted to receive this continuing endorsement from UKRI for our work.”

Visit the University of Brighton Design Archives website for more information about accessing collections online and in person and to find out more about resources, projects and work with the wider research community.

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