Thousands of new design treasures appear online in British Design Council virtual showcase

By Mark Sheerin | 05 October 2009
A picture of artefacts from a slideshow

(Above) Part of the Design Council collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1988. © The Design Council / The Manchester Metropolitan University

More than 4,000 new images from the Design Council Slide Collection have been made available online in a virtual showcase of British design from the 1940s through to the 1990s.

Classic pieces of architecture and graphic design star alongside products from furniture to machinery in an archive which also shows how the Design Council and the government worked to evaluate and promote UK design through the decades.

The digitisation project began in 1995, when the slides were transferred to Manchester Metropolitan University.

Among the awards, exhibitions and campaigns on display are materials from the 1946 show at the Victoria and Albert Museum, Britain Can Make It, and the 1951 Festival of Britain.

An illustrated guide has also been launched to supplement the expanded collection, pointing students, teachers and researchers in the direction of collection highlights and strengths.

The additions bring the total publically viewable number of Design Council slides to 13,000, which is nearly two thirds of all those on file. Chief Executive David Kester called the collection "an incredibly rich resource for anyone interested in design."

Visit the slides online.

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