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Middlesex design collection set to inspire new audiences

A new partnership is bringing iconic designs held by the Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture (MoDA), part of Middlesex University, to a vast audience of students, academics and researchers.

MoDA textiles collection

500 images from MoDA’s collection have been launched on the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), a repository which has been hosted online for over 16 years by the University of Creative Arts (UCA). VADS provides online access to a growing collection of visual images contributed by universities, libraries, museums and archives from across the UK.

“We’re delighted that some of MoDA’s records are now visible on the VADS database because it makes them more visible to art and design students nationally,” said Zoe Hendon, Head of Collections at MoDA.

“It’s also great that users of the VADS website will be able to search across the different collections and come across things they didn’t know existed.”

MoDA’s collection includes graphic designs, typography and book design, advertisements and posters, wallpapers, textiles, fashion and interior design, curated from a series of collections acquired by Middlesex University between the late 1960s and 1990s. Together, these items give an insight into early 20th and mid-century home furnishings and domestic life, as well as the design processes of commercial wallpaper and textiles.

A significant part of the collection comprises wallpaper and textile designs by the Silver Studio, an influential London-based design studio active from 1880 until the mid-twentieth century. Designs by the Silver Studio were sold by the likes of Liberty’s, and played an important part in popularising the ‘Style Anglais’ in continental Europe.

A new custom web statistic functionality built into the VADS system will allow the MoDA team to track how visitors are viewing and using their online collection.

“These analytics will allow MoDA to track visitors through the site and gain a better understanding of how students are using the online collections,” said Zoe.

“We’ll use this to help demonstrate impact for the museum’s digital outputs and help strategise future projects.”

MoDA’s collaboration with VADS was made possible with the support of Jisc, the not-for-profit organisation for higher, further education and skills. It was one of the projects selected to take part in Jisc’s Spotlight on the Digital resource discovery training programme pilot.

View the MoDA collection

View the full VADS collection

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