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Special Collections

This collection contains a wide range of output from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities when it was based at Exeter. The archive traces and reflects the Faculty of Arts and Humanities from its beginning as a school of Art, founded in Exeter in 1854 until its relocation in 2007 to the University main campus in Plymouth.

The college began in what is now the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter - it then had premises at various locations in Exeter until it moved to purpose built buildings at Earl Richards Road North in 1973 where the majority of courses were then based.

There is much photographic material in the archive including one of a student exhibition in the 1850s, but mainly of the 1940s & 1950s. The archive also has examples of students’ work, degree show posters, minutes, newspaper articles etc.

Searching the Archive

To find what is held in the archive - we have placed a link to the Microsoft Access Database on Primo. Exeter College of Art and Design Archive - you will need to save the file to read it. It is currently not very browsable. We hope in the near future to upgrade and make it more user friendly.

Publishing with the College

We have different examples of Students self published work within the archive, the earliest being copies of the School magazine of the 1920s.

The Priory Press

"The appointment of Clifford Fishwick as the Principal of the College of Art in 1958 led to an active period of creativity in all departments including the School of Printing. Alan Richards arrived at the College in 1958 and, together with Bernard Beard, the head of the School of Printing, now in the Mint, he established the Priory Press, named after the nearby St Nicholas Priory. Clifford Fishwick gave his support to the enterprise and provided £100 funding each year. The press issued hand-made books in limited editions which were produced by students in association with the Bartholomew Print Workshop. The first publication of the press was appropriately entitled First impressions. It appeared in 1961 with nine pieces by students, accompanied by their own coloured lithographs." extract from Exeter Working Papers in British Book Trade History; 12 A history of the book in Devon, by Ian Maxted © Ian Maxted, 2001.

The Making of the University of Plymouth

Much of the research for Chapter 5 (written by Helen James) for the book "The Making of the University of Plymouth" by Alston Kennerley used material and images from the archive.