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Royal College of Art Record of Student Work

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Bend over Backwards, by Brian McCann, MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, 1983


The Royal College of Art Record of Student Work is a collection of images of work produced at the College from 1960 to 2002 in the fields of fine and applied art, design and communications. The majority of images are installation shots taken from final-year degree shows, representing the culmination of each student's time at the RCA. This initial selection (August 2010) of over 5,000 images is drawn from the College's collection of around 30,000 slides of student work. It features the work of hundreds of students across all departments, including:

The following alumni are amongst the hundreds represented in the resource:

Too Late to Try - 4, by Edward Pearman, MA Printmaking, Royal College of Art, 2002

Norman Ackroyd, David Adjaye, Tord Boontje, Pauline Boty, Alison Britton, Ian Callum, Jake Chapman, Ossie Clark, Sue Coe, Adam Dant, Tracey Emin, Naomi Filmer, David Frost, Anton Furst, Tom Gauld, Kursty Groves, Thomas Heatherwick, David Hockney, Alison Jackson, Duncan Kerr, Karen Kelly, Orla Kiely, Julien Macdonald, David Mach, Tim Molloy, Jasper Morrison, Nick Munro, Peter Naumann, Harold Offeh, Chris Ofili, Chris Orr, Zandra Rhodes, Peter Schreyer, Ridley Scott, Martin Smith, Hannah Starkey, Alice Temperley, Susie Templeton, Adele Tipler, Philip Treacy, Gavin Turk, Emma Woffenden, Run Wrake

The initial selection of works for digitisation was compiled in consultation with senior tutors from each department. The remaining images are available for browsing in slide or digital format within the RCA's special collections. Enquiries about works not available through VADS, and requests for future scanning projects, should be directed to

Sara Fanelli, MA Illustration, Royal College of Art, 1995


Student activity has always been well represented among the archives and image resources of the Royal College of Art. Since the mid 20th century, when teaching of product, technical and graphic design began, a pictorial record has been kept of student work, with an emphasis on work exhibited in annual degree shows. The graduate shows were initially photographed by individual departments in the 1960s and 1970s on an ad hoc basis. In 1979, however, this effort was centralised, and the RCA's slide library assumed responsibility for photography and cataloguing, resulting in a more comprehensive and managed selection of images. A move to born-digital photography took place in 2003 and digital images of degree-shows 2003-present are still produced and distributed on the College intranet through its 'Show Gallery' resource. These images are not currently available through VADS but enquiries may be directed to

Copyright status

Under College Regulations, the RCA has the right to make images of student work, such as those included here, and the ability to make these available for the purpose of promotion of the RCA and its students. These images are made available through VADS for non-commercial use only and with full attribution to the Royal College of Art and the student whose work is represented. In most cases of scanned slides, the College believes it unambiguously owns the rights to these particular images of work, which are understood to have been made by employees of the College. However, in some exceptional cases, it is not possible to determine the exact photographer responsible for certain images, and whether occasional images might be drawn from slides donated by individual students or others to the College's collection after the fact. This is particularly true for images 1960-78 which pre-date management of the resource by library staff. If you identify any images which you believe were produced independent of the RCA and which may be subject to different copyrights, please contact us with full details at We will investigate and, if necessary, remove the image(s) in question.

Philip Treacy, MDes Fashion Womenswear, Royal College of Art, 1990


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