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The Value of Archives and Collections within UK Fashion and Textiles Higher Education Contexts

  • School: School of Art & Design
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2023
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2023

Project ID: A&D6

The textile and fashion heritage of the UK can be traced to the beginnings of the industrial revolution. The evidence of this textile and fashion heritage can be found today in deindustrialised towns and cities through: the material culture of their production, located in archives and collections; industrial technologies, located in museums and heritage centres; and the architectural impact of this manufacturing in our former mill towns and regions.  During this manufacturing heyday, investments in textile and fashion design education in the form of Victorian art schools, many of which are now at the heart of a number of the UK’s Universities, by industry, government and individuals resulted in the growth of teaching collections, and archives in our art schools.  These numerous textile and fashion archives and collections within UK Universities preserve snapshots of Victorian design, manufacturing, making and material culture.  Increased interest in archives in recent years to support educational initiatives has led to new archives and collections being grown in universities across the UK which capture the past, recent past and contemporary textiles and fashion within them.

The aims of this project will be to survey the collections situated within UK Universities to both explore and question their relevance, and to consider these in contrast with other material culture repositories.  The research could include developing understanding of their perceived and actual purpose, impact upon textile and fashion design curricula and pedagogies by academics, scholars and students.  As well as considering the potential role in the civic responsibilities of Universities and the value of these archives within local and regional communities, beyond the subject specialisms they immediately connect with.  The project has a strong interest in revealing future and novel methods and approaches to archives and collections to ensure their cultural and creative value continue to be utilised.

The project will be hosted by the Fashion and Textile Research Centre which is home to the Nottingham Trent Lace Archive.

Supervisory Team:

Professor Amanda Briggs-Goode

Associate Professor Naomi Braithwaite

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

To make an application, please visit our studentship application page.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2023 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Application guidance can be found on our studentship application page.

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