Housed in the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, our photographic collection contains approximately 150,000 prints and 500,000+ negatives and positives, making it one of the largest of its type in the UK. The archive, designed by Sir Norman Foster, is also home to many other collections including rare books, manuscripts, post cards, posters and many other types of art related documents and ephemera from around the world.
Developed from 35mm and medium format negatives, our archive of prints created in our purpose built dark room provides a high quality visual resource for students and faculty. The subjects of the photographs reflect our interdisciplinary approach to teaching since our foundation in 1965. Covering a period from the Ancient through to the 20th Century, the collection primarily focuses on European Architecture and the Applied Arts.
Image: De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, 1976
Part of our collection is a unique photographic record of church panel and screen paintings from around Norfolk. Compiled over the past three decades this survey of these local Artworks has proved an invaluable aid to researchers from around the country. Produced in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries these intricately decorated screens represent not just the most extensive example of panel painting of their period in England but an aesthetic highpoint in late medieval European craftsmanship.
Image: St Barbara, Barton Turf, Norfolk c.1440
The Sherborne Missal is a Fifteenth century English illuminated manuscript missal now held in British Library. Commissioned by Abbott Robert Bruyning for use at Sherborne Abbey it is one of the finest English examples of International Gothic painting. In 1972, whilst it was owned by the Duke of Northumberland, we arranged for a complete photographic record to be made of the manuscript. This unique record has been reproduced in part in various international publications and is now available in a digital format.
Image: The Sherborne Missal, p.169 detail
The archive also stores a collection of manuscripts by Historians and Art Historians associated with the University. These include papers and photographs from the collection of George Zarnecki (Courtauld Institute), J.L.B. Todhunter's (Ministry of Education) comprehensive architectural survey of English parish churches complied between 1927 and 1977, manuscripts by Andrew Martindale (UEA, Courtauld Institute) and the photographic and postcard collection of Dame Joan Evans (The Society of Antiquaries).
Image: A volume and index from the Todhunter bequest.
A substantial part of our archive consists of a collection of 500,000+ 35mm positives (slides). Initially conceived as a teaching facility these slides continue to play an invaluable role in research today. As well as providing a useful reference source for local historians and researchers it is also a unique repository of images that are no longer available elsewhere. Key components of the collection include an extensive visual record of European Renaissance architecture, a record of the construction of the UEA and the SCVA, and facsimiles of various medieval illuminated manuscripts