About us

Animating Archives is a research project exploring how artists and art historians engage creatively with archival resources. It was supported by the CHASE consortium between 2020-22 and aims to connect doctoral researchers with archivists, artists, writers and curators. Through blog posts and workshops, the demands of thinking about archives in a digital landscape are considered alongside practice-led and art historical methodologies within the archive, focusing on radical and grassroots organisations.  

Many artists and art historians are using creative approaches to animate material from archives that tell political, experimental and partially documented histories. Animating Archives brings together individuals and collectives who are actively developing archives as critical collections and who have insights into the variety of research questions and methods of exploration that animate these materials to produce new knowledge. This project combines engagement with archivists, artists, writers and curators alongside skills sharing on the varied methodologies that can animate archives within doctoral research in the arts.  

The project is inspired by the diversity of creative research projects based in the Women’s Art Library collection held in the Special Collections, Goldsmiths, University of London and the Jo Spence Memorial Library Archive at Birkbeck, University of London.  

For details of forthcoming events see the Workshops page.  

Animating Archives is led by Dr Catherine Grant (Courtauld Institute of Art, formerly Goldsmiths) and Dr Althea Greenan (Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths), in collaboration with Professor Patrizia di Bello (Birkbeck). PhD researchers Beth Bramich (Goldsmiths) and Hatty Nestor (Birkbeck) worked on the blog and events in 2021-22. Tom Bilson (Courtauld Institute of Art), PhD researchers Lily Evans-Hill (Goldsmiths) and Alexandra Symons Sutcliffe (Birkbeck) worked on the blog and events from 2020–21. For more details see the People page.