About the Collection

This is the website of British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection featuring news, projects, events, partners and online exhibitions. Also on the site is a Research Area where researchers can become members and use and share material in the research database.

About the Collection

Dedicated to the work of moving image artists, British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection (BAFVSC) is part of the Central Saint Martins Museum. The collection exists to support research by students based at Central Saint Martins as well as individual researchers from outside the college.

The collection comprises a large number of copies of moving image work, publications, paper documents and still images. It reflects the development of the moving image as an art-form in Britain between 1960 and 2000, and – less comprehensively – in Europe and the USA. It is the largest collection of material of its kind in the UK.

The collection is accessible and free to students, scholars, curators and others pursuing individual research. Videos cannot be borrowed or copied, viewing is only possible at the Study Collection. Most paper documents may be photocopied – subject to usual copyright restrictions and some individual embargoes.

The Study Collection is wheelchair accessible.

The Collection Catalogue
University of the Arts London has established an online catalogue which providing comprehensive information about the holdings of all its collections. As part of this is the new BAFVSC catalogue which can be accessed here:

Appointments can be made with a minimum of seven days notice, contact:
info@studycollection.org.uk or

More About the Collection

BAFVSC was founded in 2000 by David Curtis and Malcolm Le Grice, its currently associated researchers are Research Fellows Steven Ball and Duncan White with David Curtis as advisor. The Collection is part of a wider research network within Central Saint Martins and the University of the Arts London dedicated to furthering serious research into the artists’ moving-image.

British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection covers:

• Moving images: video and digital copies of more than 5000 individual works; documentation of expanded cinema and video and sound interviews with artists;

• Artists files: the achievements of more than 900 individual artists (personal papers, reviews, manifestos etc;

• Publications: monographs, magazines, books and catalogues;

• Institutional files: catalogues, publications, reports, screening-programme schedules and programme notes from more than 50 UK and international museums and artist-led organisations (ie London Filmmakers Co-operative, London Video Arts/London Electronic Arts, Tate, National Film Theatre, Institute of Contemporary Art, Pompidou Centre, Millennium, and many others. Also policy documents, committee minutes and publications issued by arts funding organisations in the UK (ie BFI, Arts Council England, British Film Institute, Channel 4);

• Exhibitions and events: catalogues, correspondence, organisational files, posters etc relating to nearly 100 exhibitions, festivals conferences in the UK , (ie Film as Film 1979, The Video Show 1975, Pandaemonium Festivals, NFT Underground Festivals 1970 and 1973, )

• Still images: unique photographs including frame stills, production stills, drawings.

• Posters: over 400 posters relating to individual films, group exhibitions and festivals; some hand made, many of them rare.

• Year files: collected records of groups shows and other ephemera;

• …and other unique objects and ephemera.

British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection has been formed from a number of different collections. These include:

• the collection of David Curtis who was Film Officer at the Arts Council of England for many years;

• the Arts Council of England’s (partial) collection of record-copies of the films & videos it funded between 1972 and 1998;

• the ICA’s Videotheque from the 1980s and ‘90s;

• the REWIND collection of 1970s and ‘80s British Video Art

• donations by many individual artists and scholars;

• donated research papers and doctoral theses.

British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection projects (for which we hold extensive documentation) include:

• Lightwriting (Ball & White 2010)

• Narrative Exploration in Expanded Cinema (White & Curtis 2009).

• Figuring Landscapes (Ball & Elwes 2008-10)

• Collected Works and Colour Fields (Ball & Curtis)

• A Century of Artists Film in Britain (Tate Britain 2003-04, Curtis)

• Institutional Support for artists in the UK (Maziere 2006)

• Online exhibitions – curated by Maxa Zoller, David Critchley, and others

British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection was partner in two successful AHRC funded research projects:
• Artists’ moving Image Distribution Database (University of Sunderland) http://fv-distribution-database.ac.uk/
REWIND – the first decade of artists’ video in the UK http://www.rewind.org.uk

British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection has no purchase budget but welcomes donations. British Artists’ Film & Video Study Collection cataloguing and digitising programme is on-going, and we welcome volunteers and interns.