Historical Artists Files Collection

Scope and Content

Files featuring artists who are no longer living including over 190 women artists. They date back to an artist who lived in medieval Germany. The files are made of paper documentation, photographs and slides (mixture of commercially produced slides, slides made by volunteers from books and donations from art historians). Some files do not include slides, but feature postcards, photographs, photocopied information, press cuttings and ephemera.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Women's Art Library (also known as MAKE) was originally set up as the Women Artists slide Library in London in the late 1970s. This initiative from feminist artists' developed into an arts organisation publishing catalogues, books and a magazine from 1983-2002. During this time women artists deposited unique documentation on their work and created personal files that functioned together as an alternative public space. Thousands of artists from around the world are represented in some form in this collection. In 2004 the collection became part of Goldsmiths Library Special Collections. At Goldsmiths The Women's Art Library (MAKE) continued to collect slides, artist statements, exhibition ephemera, catalogues, and press material in addition to audio and videotapes, photographs and CD-Roms. As at 2009 they continued to welcome donations from women artists to help develop this collection.


The collection is catalogued by artist and is arranged alphabetically in filing drawers.

Access Information

Access for visitors is by appointment only.

Other Finding Aids

List available at the Library (database)

Archivist's Note

Description by Althea Greenan, MAKE 2002. Submitted to the Archives Hub as part of Genesis 2009 Project.

Custodial History

Corporate Names