About us

The Arts, Design and Media Archive holds 40 different collections covering the fields of art and design, photography, education, music, media, jewellery and fashion.

These are a free inspirational resource for students, staff, creative practitioners and the general public – one that we collect, preserve and document for future generations and plan to make as accessible as possible.

Our aims

  • To provide an interdisciplinary resource for research, teaching and learning, and community engagement;
  • To develop and support research and consultancy in the revitalisation of our historic collections; and
  • To raise the profile of the Arts, Design and Media Archive through developing networks at regional, national and international levels and participating in collaborative projects.


The Archive (then known as the School of Art Archive) was moved from the School of Art Education in Priory Road to the art school in Margaret Street in the late 1980s. At that time, it was a specialist repository with a small number of collections, namely the School of Art, the Marion Richardson collection and three other art education collections. With limited funding, the Archive was effectively closed for twenty years, during which time the School of Art became part of the University of Central England (UCE).

In 2000, the rebranded Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) Archive acquired the Public Arts Commissions Agency collection. This led to the appointment of a full-time Keeper of Archives in May that year. The Archive moved to its current location on the ground floor of the Parkside Building in 2013.

Under the leadership of a new Keeper of Archives, it was rebranded as the Arts, Design and Media Archive in 2018. It has since expanded to encompass collections on jazz, photography, historical dress and medals.

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