VADS images resource new website

VADS (Visual Arts Data Service) is a unique repository of images created and managed by the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Library.

They have just released a new website, and the updated VADS offers improved access to its archive of over 140,000 images from 300 different UK collections – all available free for use in education.

VADS’ images cover the broad range of the visual arts including applied arts, architecture, design, fashion, fine art, and media. Everything from impressionist paintings to wartime posters, fashion photography to ceramics and furniture is available for use, organised by collection and also fully searchable. It contains work by thousands of artists and public institutes, including places such as The Imperial War Museum, The RCA, UAL , the Women’s Library, as well as The Frederick Parker Chair collection, which we house at London Met.

To explore the collection and find out how you can use its images in your academic work, go to

Carved beech upholstered winged arm chair, The Frederick Parker Chair Collection: London Metropolitan University. © Frederick Parker Foundation

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Homemade banners book and online archives

A new book about banners celebrating women’s empowerment, made by artists has been published, and you can see some of the great artworks in this Guardian article, as well an online preview of the book here.

Where else might you might be able to view these type of homemade banners, a real creative outlet for protestors and communities online?

Here are a few I found:

The Banner Lending Library (based in Chicago, but they have a vast archive on their website)

The Women’s Library – Suffrage Banners Collection on VADS

Jeremy Deller Procession project

Bishopsgate Institute archives (search banners)

Arbitration from Women´s Library Suffrage Banners Collection on VADS (Unidentified designer). This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) license.


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Women’s Art Library


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Frida Kahlo museum virtual tour

Frida Kahlo’s House in Mexico City - now a museum, has a beautiful, walled garden and many paintings on display inside the building.  Now you can take a virtual tour of the museum from your home. You can either click on arrows in the main picture to move around in the tour or click on the small thumbnail pictures at the bottom of the screen to go from room to room.

This and many other activities to do from home are listed on our ‘Keeping busy page’ some suggestions from Library Services on how you can take a break from studying or working from home. The list was started as lock-down began and most people were unable to go outside, however we will keep adding to it as many staff and students will continue to work from home, so keep checking back for more additions!

For a list of E-books about Frida Kahlo see the library catalogue here.

See also Bridgeman Education, the digital image database, where you can view many works by Frida Kahlo and many more artists. Log in with your username and password.

For more Frida Kahlo resources check out our previous post about a Google Arts & Culture and more here.

Museo Frida Kahlo copyright Sheep”R”Us from Flikr



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Free journal downloads

Although we have many journals available to download and read online through the library catalogue, some are still only available in print.

Emigre Magazine (graphic design) is usually accessible in our Aldgate library as a print journal, however for the first time since its first publication in 1984, they have made free access to their entire print run (1984 – 2005) available through Letterform Archive, where you can browse and research each volume online.

You can also download issues 64 – 69 for free on the Emigre website.

The British Journal of Photographers have also made their ‘Female Gaze’ issue free to download (registration required), which is also only usually available as print.

If we come across anymore we will keep you updated.

Happy reading!


Previous related posts:

The power of print

Graphic Design


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Argos catalogue archive online

Last month Argos announced it would stop printing it’s seminal paper catalogue (apparently once found in three quarters of British homes, and only the Bible was found in more homes!), as online shopping increases. It was first printed 47 years ago, and for many of us it evokes childhood memories of flicking through the pages and annoying parents with making wish lists of toys and goods.

But it is also a great history of design and British tastes over these decades, whether it be furniture, interior design, graphic design, accessories or technology. Apparently it was also the most targeted shop for looting during the London riots back in 2011. But fear not! Retromash have been lovingly collating collections of old catalogues that can be viewed and searched online. Nostalgia overload at the ready.

If you feel the need to see a real life vintage catalogue, we do hold a couple in the Special Collections  but as this is currently closed, as with all our libraries, due to the corona virus pandemic, you will need to wait until we re-open (no date at time of writing).


Related previous posts:


Interior Design student exhibition



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Judith Butler event

Judith Butler is one of those names we see constantly on books coming in and out of the library, her books cover topics relevant in so many subjects. So we were very excited to hear she would be presenting a lecture, The Force of Nonviolence, about her new book, at the Whitechapel Gallery, our neighbours in Aldgate.

The event is free, 23rd July, 5pm and is online, so no need to leave the house!

Click on this link to the event to find out more and how to attend.

London Met library has various e-books by her to read online,  if you want to get upto speed. Use your London Met login to access the books through the library catalogue here.

Judith Butler. Image in the public domain



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British Art podcasts

The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art have started a new series of podcasts ‘British Art Talks‘. Each episode features new research and aims to enhance and expand knowledge of British art and architecture, including such topics as:

late-medieval tombs that often depicted husband and wife lying hand-in-hand in an immortalised expression of love and matrimony;

the art and architectural dimensions of Carthusian life;

the physic, botanical and medicinal garden from the medieval to the eighteenth century

and more!


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Podcasts and more



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Archives for the future

We are currently living through a historic time. When we want to research historic moments we often go to archives and museums specialising in that area or subject. In the future it is likely the extraordinary time we are living through will want to be researched, so how do you go about collecting objects and information for future generations?

Here are some examples of places collecting what could be important information for the future, and you can help out with some of them!

Black Cultural Archives – Document! : Black Lives Matter - donate digital artifacts to help document the Black Lives Matter protests.

BFI Britain on lockdown video archive - calling on the British public to submit videos that represent best how Britain has experienced the impact of coronavirus.

The British Library – have been collecting audio, websites, diaries and testimony to capture experiences of lockdown. If you have a collecting project you can get in touch with them.

Historic England – Picturing Lockdown Collection - the public were asked to submit photos during one week of lockdown, to document their experiences.

Due to Covid-19 – documenting signs of the pandemic. You can still submit your own.

V & A – collecting rainbow drawings and homemade signs – submit images of your homemade signs.

V & A Pandemic objects  – editorial project that compiles and reflects on objects that have taken on new meaning and purpose during the coronavirus pandemic.

Museum of London – Collecting Covid – the Museum of London is seeking to collect both objects and first hand accounts to reflect Londoners lives during the pandemic.

Mass Observation Project – document your experiences of covid-19.

Science Museum #MaskSelfie - to help capture a snapshot of life during the pandemic, share your Mask Selfie with the Science Museum.

Viral Archive – share your photos to help build a photographic archive of the pandemic.

image: NHS heroes  © Copyright Bill Nicholls used under Creative Commons license.









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Podcasts and more


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Access London Met apps from your own computer

Connect to London Met work stations from home!

Do you have your own device but have been unable to access software you can usually only access while in the university buildings/using university computers?

Well now London Met’s Information Technology Services team is pleased to introduce AppsAnywhere and RemoteLab, giving you access to all the software you need on-demand, anywhere, anytime!

AppsAnywhere is a program that allows you to access campus software from your personal computer without needing to have the applications installed on your device. It’s a bit like Netflix, but for software.

You will have access to applications such as: SPSS, Matlab, Adobe Creative Cloud, NVIVO, Visual Studio and Unity, with many more being added all the time.

Remote Lab is accessible through AppsAnywhere, and allows you to use the powerful computers on campus through your own pc, laptop or mac from home, even if your own device isn’t very powerful, including graphic applications.

For more information and instructions, click on this link which will take you to the IT resources page on the London Met student zone.

image from Gird Altmann on pixabay

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London Met Arts Summer Shows Online!

This is the time of year we are normally preparing to see our art, architecture and design students work in the annual summer show, so in this most unusual of times how will the students show their work?

The good news is, in many ways! See below some information on how you can still see what they have all been up to:

The Art, Architecture and Design School (formerly The Cass, see a statement here from the university about the name change) Summer Show 2020 will take place between 29 June – 10 July, and this year it will a programme of subject-specific live online events, called LIVENESS, between the launch and 10 July such as talks, tours and Q & A’s will bring external audiences and the school community together.

See their website  for further details, and register here to be sent details and a programme.

Ba Photography students already have a online exhibition up and running, check it out here to see their fantastic work!

Also check out Final Cuts Festival, from our School of Computing and Digital Media students. It is an online festival of outstanding documentaries, short films and animation by students, and runs from 23rd – 25th June. Some more information here.

Congratulations to all our students who have shown they can still produce outstanding work at this time.

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CASS summer shows 2019






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