This major collection charts the extensive activities of the Council of Industrial Design, founded in 1944, through to its re-designation as the Design Council in 1972 and its restructuring in 1994. It includes material relating to all spheres of the Council’s activities, particularly design promotion in industry, national and overseas exhibitions, publications, education and the administration of design competitions and awards.
The collection of photographs, posters, publications and ephemera reflects many aspects of social and cultural change throughout the twentieth century. The collection includes the Council’s picture library, a comprehensive photographic survey of products and interiors from Britain and abroad and of landmark exhibitions such as Britain Can Make It (1946) and the Festival of Britain (1951). Over three thousand photographs from the Design Council Archive, alongside images from the Design Council Slide Collection at Manchester Metropolitan University, can be searched on-line at VADS. The Council’s library, comprising books and journals it published, as well as those collected for reference by Council staff, is fully searchable on the University’s Library system.