4,000 images from the Design Council slide collection have been made available online with JISC support, providing a unique insight into the history of British design and its promotion by the UK government from the 1940s to the early 1990s.
The images provide valuable visual evidence of the ways in which design has been evaluated and promoted throughout this period, through the Design Council which is the UK’s national strategic body for design.
The images show a wide variety of products including tableware, furniture, lighting, toys, domestic appliances, textiles, wallpapers, office equipment, engineering components and machinery, as well as other areas of design such as architecture, town planning, interior design, graphic design and corporate identity.
An illustrated online guide to the collection is also available. The guide aims to indicate the strengths of the collection, enabling users to exploit it more fully as a resource for learning and research.
“The collection is an incredibly rich resource for anyone interested in design,” says David Kester, chief executive of the Design Council. “In particular, it demonstrates the Design Council’s long track record of promoting the use of design to strengthen the UK’s economy and improve society.”
The project is part of JISC’s digitisation programme which has invested just under £2 million to develop the range and quality of digital resources available to students and researchers in colleges and universities. The 25 projects in the programme are digitising collections and enhancing existing resources for use in learning, teaching and research.