The Rod Fisher Archive


Rod Fisher on The Rod Fisher Archive: a talk about the global cultural policy collection held by Goldsmiths Library.

Hosted by Goldsmiths Library and the ICCE Department

Tuesday 1st March, 4.45 – 5.30

Prokoviev Room, 2nd floor, Goldsmiths Library

Free, all welcome.



Rod Fisher will talk about the archive of pamphlets and documents, relating to culture around the world, that he donated to Goldsmiths Library and which he continues to occasionally add to. The archive offers an invaluable resource for research into global cultural policy, collected during Rod Fisher’s long international career.

Rod Fisher co-founded the CIRCLE (Cultural Information Research Centres Liaison in Europe) network, set up originally to respond to the cultural policy interests of the Council of Europe, and was its first Chairman (1985–94).

Since establishing and directing the International Arts Bureau in 1994 and its successor, International Intelligence on Culture, in 2000, Rod Fisher has conducted a broad range of cultural policy research and consultancy commissions from such institutions as: the European Commission; European Parliament; European Cultural Foundation; Arts Council England; Irish Arts Council; Asia-Europe Foundation; Hong Kong Arts Development Council; Ministry of Education, Finland; National Arts Council, Singapore; Tokyo Metropolitan Authority. He chaired the European Task Force set up by the Council of Europe in 1994 to examine the state of culture and development in Europe, which produced the landmark report In from the Margins.

From 1976–94 Rod worked at the Arts Council of Great Britain, in a number of capacities, latterly as International Affairs Manager. He was responsible for producing in 1984 the first Code of Practice on Arts and Disability, adopted by all four Arts Councils in the UK and by Arts Council Ireland.

From 2002-2012 Rod was Director of the European Cultural Foundation UK Committee. He has served on a range of advisory committees, including the Japan Foundation UK (2005–2007) and the British Centre of the International Theatre Institute (2002-2012).

Recent, European Union engagements were as rapporteur for the EU Cyprus Presidency Conference ‘The Governance of Culture in Today’s Globalised World’ (Nicosia, August 2012) and moderator and key note speaker for the 3rd EU-China High Level Cultural Forum (Beijing, November 2012). He is currently independent expert in a study on culture in the European Union’s external relations, led by the Goethe Institut. A book on the EU and Culture is in preparation.

He has written extensively, researching and editing some 25 books, reports and directories and is the author of some 90 published journal articles.


Publications held by Goldsmiths Library include:

 A cultural dimension to the EU’s external policies from policy statements to practice and potential. (706.992 FIS)

Developing new instruments to meet cultural policy challenges : report of an Asia-Europe Seminar on Cultural Policy, Bangkok, Thailand, 24-27 June 2004. (306 ASI)

Sweden and Finland / original research by Rod Fisher, Melita Douthwaite-Hodges and Tay Tong. (706.992 SWE)

South Africa / original research by Mike van Graan ; edited by Rod Fisher of the International Arts Bureau for the Arts Council of England. (706.992 VAN)

USA / original research by Jean Horstman ; edited by Rod Fisher and Anne Cockitt of the International Arts Bureau for the Arts Council of England. (706.992 HOR)

Arts networking in Europe : the second directory of trans-national cultural networks, associations and international non-governmental organisations in Europe / researched by Nicolas Vial Montero ; edited by Rod Fisher; 1997. (Q 706.992 ART)

Who does what in Europe? : an introduction to the role and cultural policies of the supra-national, inter-governmental or pan-European institutions and the scope they provide as sources of finance / compiled by Rod Fisher. (706.992 FIS)


Rod Fisher is Director of International Intelligence on Culture, the consultancy he founded, and since 2002 visiting lecturer on European cultural policies for ICCE and its predecessor at Goldsmiths.

The Rod Fisher Archive is part of Goldsmiths Library. It is available for reference on the second floor of the library.

A Remedy for Rents: Darning samplers and other needlework from the Whitelands College Collection


Following the private view on 26th January for A Remedy for Rents, the exhibition will be running in the Constance Howard Gallery (home of the Goldsmiths Textile Collection) until 10th March 2016.

Opening of the Exhibition ‘A Remedy for Rents – Darning Samplers and Other Needlework from the Whitelands College Collection’ held at the CHG 19/01/2016 to 10/03/2016

Curated by Vivienne Richmond, head of Goldsmiths History Department and author of Clothing the Poor in Nineteenth-century England (2013), A Remedy for Rents showcases a rare collection of exceptionally fine needlework by working-class women in the last quarter of the 19th century. As students at Whitelands College, the first all-female teacher training college, now part of the University of Roehampton, the women were training to teach in elementary schools for working-class children and their needlework focused on the production and repair of simple garments and household textiles.

As students at Whitelands College, the first all-female teacher training college, now part of the University of Roehampton, the women were training to teach in elementary schools for working-class children and their needlework focused on the production and repair of simple garments and household textiles. Yet such everyday purpose belies the creativity and skill displayed in their work and the exhibition takes its title from a quotation by John Ruskin, a patron of the College, who marvelled that ‘work of so utilitarian character’ could be so beautiful.

The centrepiece of the exhibits, all from the Whitelands College archive, is an album compiled by Kate Stanley, Head Governess from 1876-1902, containing 26 darning and 17 plain needlework samplers worked by students, the stitching on which is extraordinarily fine. In addition, a number of loose samplers are displayed together with a variety of small-scale practice garments, also of a high standard, made as an economical and time-saving way to learn techniques.


Whitelands College students went on to teach at schools and training colleges across the British Empire and so the ideologies, techniques and style of garments they learned at Whitelands entered the minds and homes of millions of poor and working-class girls. The exhibition, therefore, not only offers a rare opportunity to see needlework by non-elite Victorian women, but illuminates also the history of working-class dress, female education and gendered roles, experiences and expectations in 19th-century Britain and beyond. Further information on the history of Whitelands college can be found here.

A pdf with more information on the exhibition can be downloaded here.

A Remedy for Rents is available for viewing during the Goldsmiths Textile Collection & Constance Howard Gallery’s opening hours of Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 11.00-17.00. For more information visit Goldsmiths Textile Collection’s website or contact us.

Sustainable Organisation Library

Sustainable Organisation LibraryWe now have access to Greenleaf Publishing’s Sustainable Organisation Library (SOL) via Ingentaconnect. This electronic resource is focused on topics such as sustainability, responsible business and leadership, waste reduction, ethics, corporate governance, development economics and environmental stewardship.

The Sustainable Organisation Library includes a database containing around 10,000 items (book chapters, case studies and research papers). These are drawn from more than 800 book and journal volumes, published by Greenleaf Publishing and a number of partner organizations, including the UN Global Compact, the European Foundation for Management Development, and Oxfam International.

You can access the database by going to the E-Resources A-Z list on the library website, and following the link under ‘S’. Browse the content, or search the database by keyword, author, and/or publication title.

A library catalogue search for ‘Sustainable Organisation Library’ will bring up records for 19 full-text electronic books which are part of the SOL. These include recently published titles on sustainable fashion, anti-corruption, and collective governance.


This week, Goldsmiths is participating in ‘Go Green Week’, a national campaign run by the student organisation, People & Planet. We’ve selected some resources from the Sustainable Organisation Library for each themed day. Follow the links below to obtain access to the full text of these articles.

Meat Free Monday: ‘Vegetarianism and Food Governance: Sustainability and Ecological Justice’ by Heather McLeod-Kilmurray. In: Laura Westra, Klaus Bosselmann and Colin Soskolne (eds.), Globalisation and Ecological Integrity in Science and International Law, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2011, pp. 57-76.

Green IT Tuesday: ‘Environmental Impacts of Telecommunication Services’ by Manfed Zurkirch and Inge Reichart. In: Greener Management International, Number 32, 1 December 2000, pp. 70-88.

Walk-to-Work Wednesday: ‘The Ecocritical Analysis of a Children’s Picture Book: Yütüyen Çinar (The Walking Plane Tree)’ by Ayfer Gürdal Ünal. In: Serpil Oppermann, et. al. (eds), The Future of Ecocriticism: New Horizons, Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2011, pp. 202-208.

Tap Water Thursday: ‘Saving Water’ by Jonathan T. Scott. In: The Sustainable Business (2nd Edition): A Practitioner’s Guide to Achieving Long-Term Profitability and Competitiveness, Sheffield : Greenleaf Publishing, 2013, pp. 127-131.

Fair Trade Friday: ‘Fair trade and the coffee crisis in the Nicaraguan Segovias’ by René Mendoza and Johan Bastiaensen. In: Small Enterprise Development, Volume 14, Number 2, 22 June 2003, pp. 36-46.

National Libraries Day 2016


National Libraries Day is annual event, held of the first Saturday in February, which celebrates the work of libraries and librarians.

Now in its fifth year, the event has raised the profile of libraries as an important public service and raised awareness of the challenges that libraries, particularly public libraries, are facing. CILIP’s My Library By Right campaign offers more information.

In 2015, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy released figures that showed that over a hundred libraries closed that year and funding had been cut by £50m. There are 549 fewer libraries than there were in 2010, whilst library funding has been cut by £180m. Visits to libraries have reduced by 14%. Many more libraries have moved to volunteer control or have been outsourced.

Despite this grim reading, there were still 265 million visits to UK libraries last year. Help celebrate them this weekend.

The National Libraries Day website has a number of ideas. See which events your local libraries are hosting. Visit your local library and share a selfie using the hashtag #librariesday (or do the same if you’re in Goldsmiths Library on Saturday!) You can even tweet your support to @NatLibrariesDay. Tell the world what you love about libraries.

Find your local library by searching here. Joining a library is simple and you’ll be surprised which services they offer. Here’s some links to local borough libraries.




Tower Hamlets