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.









previous related post:

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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Podcasts and more

This might be a Visual Arts blog, but are you fed up with looking at computer screens for your art fix? Podcasts and other sounds are a great way of engaging with art and exhibitions at the moment as lockdown continues and galleries and museums remain closed. Take some timeout from looking and have a listen instead.

Here are a few places you can find them:


The Photographers Gallery, including ‘Exploring Black British Culture’

The David Zwirner Podcast, including Diana Thater and Rachel Rose

Somerset House, series from the recent ’24/7′ exhibition

The Drawing Room, including ‘The End of Human Magic’

Serpentine Gallery, including ‘Back To Earth’ series

Tate Gallery, including ‘Where Does Time go?’

BFI, ‘Girls On Film’ looking at film from a female perspective

V&A, including a guide of the recent Tim Walker exhibition

Art UK Art Matters podcasts, including the beauty in beasts, a guide to animals in art

Iniva, Cheraine Donalea Scott discusses grime, politics and punk, while delving into the library’s collection



Among The Trees playlist from Hayward Gallery

British Library Sounds, including ‘Sounds of your World’


Participate in:

Libraries as Gardens – sound recordings of people reading during quarantines and memories of gardens they have visitied (deadline end of June 2020)

Cities and memories, sounds from the global lockdown, send in sounds from where you are.


The Guardian article on Cities and memories project


Previous related posts:

Sound archives and exhibition

Sound effects

‘Reel to real’


image from Raw Pixel


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Beautiful books online

London Met has thousands of E-books available online, but if you are missing our wonderful art books in the library, where else can you find beautiful ones online to browse? Some places such as the British Library and Oxford University have scanned many out of copyright books from their collections that can be viewed online, and feature some real beauties, here are some examples:

The British Library Turning The Pages website features software that allows you to read some of the books from their collection which have been scanned in high quality. For example try Audobon’s The Birds of America, a stunning 19th century giant book of bird illustrations by John James Audobon.

Princeton University’s Playing Soviet collection features sections of rarely seen Soviet children’s books from the Cotsen Collection at Princeton’s Firestone Library.

University of California libraries on the internet archive, including Infants Cabinet of Birds and Beasts from 1820, The Baby’s Own Aesop, or The Nine Lives of a Cat.

The Library of Congress, including Atlas céleste de Flamstéed, and Red Riding Hood.

The University of Florida Digital Collections, including The Three Little Kittens.

Digital Bodleian, where you can get lost for hours exploring the Bodleian Library collections, including The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake.

And lastly how about a few sketch books? Try Donald Rodney on the Tate Archive or The New York Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbook Project.

This is just a small selection, happy browsing!


Previous related posts:

American Animals

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Copyright free images

Are you looking for images you can use without having to worry about copyright?  Most images you can find on the internet will have some kind of copyright, even if there is nothing to indicate it. It’s important to check before using an image who the copyright holder is, and if you are allowed to use it for your purposes.

To be on the safe side, you can use images that are in the public domain, or listed with a creative commons zero (CC0) licence, which means the copyright holder has waived all rights over their reuse. You can copy or modify the work for personal or commercial purposes and attribution is not required. Other licenses may require an attribution or a link back to the original image, so be sure to check.

Remember you are responsible for checking the copyright of any image you use! If you are not sure if you can use it, always ask the permission of whoever owns the copyright.

If you are looking to make a collage using images, there is a useful factsheet on DACs, explaining how copyright should be viewed.

Some examples of places to search for image sources to use freely include:

  • ArtUK  Art UK is the online home for every public art collection in the UK. Use the Menu and search for an artist. It is then possible to refine the search results by ‘Licence’ to images with Open or Creative Commons Licences.
  • Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery Picture Library  Out-of-copyright collections are freely available under a Creative Commons CC0 licence.
  • British Library  A catalogue of book illustrations, maps and manuscripts found on The copyright status is given below each image.
  • National Gallery  Search the collection of over 2,600 paintings. Mainly it is the out of copyright images that are made available for re-use under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND licence.
  • Science Museum  All collection data and images, where possible, are made available under a Creative Commons licence.
  • Tate  Mainly the out of copyright images are made available under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND licence. It is possible to refine a search to just those images with Creative Commons licences.
  • Wellcome Trust  Thousands of freely licensed digital books, artworks photos and images of historical library materials and museum objects.
  • Biodiversity Heritage Library flikr   The world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives.
  • Raw Pixel    Has many copyright free images, including a good section of high quality public domain images by renown artists available to download.

Some major global art galleries and museums are beginning to make parts of, or their whole collections available via the CC0 licence.

More information about copyright can be found on the library webpages for teaching, or for more info on image resources check the Image resources tab on this blogs home page

The image below is by Karl Blossfeldt, on Raw pixel. Find out more about him on the Whitechapel gallery website, who had an exhibition of his work in 2014.

Eryngium Giganteum (Miss Willmott’s Ghost) enlarged 4 times from Urformen der Kunst (1928) by Karl Blossfeldt. Original from The Rijksmuseum. Digitally enhanced by rawpixel. Public domain CC0 image













Previous related posts:

The Met museum adds thousands of copyright free images

Free online collection of Nature and Botanical Illustrations

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Exhibitions to visit online

With most galleries and museums now closed due to coronavirus, many are upping their online content, and in some cases you can virtually visit the exhibitions. If you’re looking for inspiration, and you would normally visit a gallery or museum, try out some of these exhibitions you can either see the whole exhibition, or parts of, online:

On Being Present, Recovering Blackness in the Uffizi Gallery Florence (part of Black History Month Florence)

Mamma Andersson, David Zwirner

Painting by Numbers, The Works of Ferdinand Bauer. An interesting digital experiment, bringing together online nearly 300 original works by the botanical artist. You can investigate through data visualisation and mapping Bauer’s ability to retain colours in his mind.

Heritage at Risk, exploring natural and man-made threats to cultural heritage

Léon Spilliaert at Royal Academy

Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Catharsis,  Serpentine Gallery

Raphael, Scuderie del Quirinale Rome. ‘Once in a lifetime’ show closed due to coronavirus, some images online here:

Ceramic Art London

Psychedelic video by NOWNESS with Somerset House, to mark the opening of their ‘Mushrooms’ exhibition.

South London Gallery, Bloomberg Contemporaries

Yayoi Kusama Infinity Room, Broad museum Los Angeles, through instagram

Vivian Suter, Camden Arts Centre

Frida Kahlo on Google Arts and Culture

If you’re still not satisfied, you can visit 500 worldwide galleries online with Google Arts and Culture…..


Raphael, The Alba Madonna, (image in public domain)














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Lightboxes and Lettering exhibition and display

Just up the road from our Aldgate campus, Bow Arts Nunnery Gallery has an exhibition on about the history of east London’s print industry. ‘Lightboxes and Lettering‘ tells the story of the print industry across the 20th century, focusing on the east London boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Waltham Forest. The exhibition includes historic photographs and printed items as well as print workers’ memories, told through a new collection of oral histories.

A series of events accompanies the exhibition, where you can learn more about the techniques or companies involved.

If you are interested in letterpress, typography, litho printing or the printing industry or  just the history of the local area, this is a great exhibition to visit. It is on until the 29th March 2020.

Aldgate Library  has a display up on the printing industry to celebrate this fascinating exhibition in our local area.

Printing display in Aldgate Library, photo © London Met


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Martin Parr photobooks collection

A bit late for the Show and tell, which is happening this afternoon, but there will still be time to see the display of the Martin Parr Photobook Collection at Late at Tate this evening, in the Reading Rooms at Tate Britain!

The Martin Parr Photobook Collection is a collection of over 12000 photobooks collected by Martin Parr from around the world, focussing on documentary photography and propaganda materials. The collection has recently been acquired by Tate and catalogued by Tate Library and Archive. After today’s events, you will be able to search the collection on Tate Library catalogue and will be accessible for use in the Tate Britain Reading Rooms.

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British and Irish Furniture Makers Online workshop 3rd Feb


British and Irish Furniture Makers Online (BIFMO) is a free open access online resource of thousands of biographical notes of furniture makers nationwide from 1640 onwards.

They are  collaborating with  Layers of London (a website recording the rich layers of London Heritage) to make information about furniture makers accessible alongside their maps. On the 3rd of February there will be a free workshop for volunteers to sign up and help gather information about furniture makers in London and create records for a new collection.

There are 2 workshops to sign up for , one in the afternoon and one in the evening, and they take place at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, London.



Related previous posts:


50 years:  London College of Furniture Symposium



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