The Centre for Design History is proud to announce new books by its members, Sue Breakell, Kate Guy, Hajra Williams, Claire Wintle, and their colleagues. Join us for a joint book launch, to hear from the authors and their colleagues about their respective projects, and to celebrate their success.

This in-person event will launch

The Materiality of the Archive: Creative Practice in Context, edited by Sue Breakell and Wendy Russell (Routledge, 2023)


Histories of Exhibition Design in the Museum: Makers, Process, and Practice, edited by Kate Guy, Hajra Williams and Claire Wintle (Routledge, 2023)

Free and open to all. but please book to help us plan refreshments. Click HERE

June 3, 6pm-8pm, University of Brighton (City Campus), M2, Grand Parade Main Building: 58–67 Grand Parade, BN2 0JY

Please email for enquiries.

For more information on the books to be presented, see below.

The Materiality of the Archive: Creative Practice in Context

Edited by Sue Breakell and Wendy Russell


The Materiality of the Archive is the first volume to bring together a range of methodological approaches to the materiality of archives, as a framework for their engagement, analysis and interpretation.

Focusing on the archives of creative practices, the book reaches between and across existing bodies of knowledge in this field, including material culture, art history and literary studies, unified by an interest in archives as material deposits and aggregations, in both analogue and digital forms, as well as the material encounter. Connecting a breadth of disciplinary interests in the archive with expanding discourses in materiality, contributors address the potential of a material engagement to animate archival content. Analysing the systems, processes and actions that constitute the shapes, forms and structures in which individual archival objects accumulate, and the underpinnings which may hold them in place as an archival body, the book considers ways in which the inexorable move to the digital affects traditional theories of the physical archival object. It also considers how stewardship practices such as description and metadata creation can accommodate these changes.

The Materiality of the Archive unifies theory and practice and brings together professional and academic perspectives. The book is essential reading for academics, researchers and postgraduate students working in the fields of archive studies, museology, art history and material culture.


Histories of Exhibition Design in the Museum: Makers, Process and Practice

Edited by Kate Guy, Hajra Williams and Claire Wintle
Histories of Exhibition Design in the Museum: Makers, Process and Practice offers a new model for understanding exhibition design in museums, from the nineteenth century to the recent past. It moves beyond the power of the finished exhibition over both objects and visitors to highlight historic exhibition making as a human and material process – an ongoing task of adaptation, experimentation and interaction involving intellectual, creative and technical choices. It highlights the labour in making museum exhibitions, presenting design as filled with personal and professional demands on the body, senses and emotions. Contributions from historians, anthropologists and exhibition makers around the world focus on histories of identity, collaboration and hierarchy ‘behind the scenes’ of the museum. They argue for an emphasis on the everyday objects of museum design, and the importance of a diverse range of actors within and beyond the museum, from carpenters and label writers to volunteers and local communities. Institutional memory in museums is often opaque, and previously learnt lessons are easily forgotten. This book offers scholars and professionals across the museum and design sectors insight into how past methods still influence museums today, revealing the lineage of current processes and supporting more informed contemporary practice.