Who We Are

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Mission Statement
“To provide interactive leaning, inspiration and enjoyment for all members of the community by widening access to our design resources”
• Key Objectives
 To develop a collection that reflects the community that we are a part of
 To generate a sense of time and place in our community, in the past, the present and in our collective future
 To collect and encourage the community to collect artefacts and images, working within a focussed collection policy
 To make the collections accessible to different groups
 To facilitate, promote and enable the community to interact with the collections
• Collections History
The Design Collection was established in 1983 as a resource for staff and students in the field of Art and Design in the old North Staffordshire Polytechnic. Initially it was seen purely as a departmental resource and the collections were built up, largely through donations from members of the University and their contacts, to serve particular courses. The collections established in 1983 were – costume and textiles, products (small-scale examples of industrial design for domestic and office use) and magazines and catalogues, collected both for their content and for their interest as examples of graphic design. Three members of the department involved with establishing the collection were trained museum professionals.
From an early stage it was realised that the collection had a role to play in training students who might wish to make a career in library, museum or archive professions. It was also acknowledged that the collection was a suitable repository for items associated with the history of the institution – photographs, teaching aids and examples of outmoded equipment.

To begin with the collection was housed in a room adjacent to the slide library, and the administration was the responsibility of slide library staff. As the collection grew, students were employed on short-term contracts to catalogue and index parts of the collection. Various temporary research posts were established in connection with the Design Collection, one of which led to the establishment of the plastics collection. By 1989 the Design Collection had outgrown its accommodation, and in 1992 moved to premises in the Cadman Building. Though these contained a purpose-built storage system, the new space was too small, and in 1995 the collection and its store moved into a larger space within the same building. Over the years the institution that is now the University owned various collections originally established for teaching purposes – notably collections of miner’s lamps and mining specimens and the Solon collection of books on ceramics. Unfortunately both these collections were donated to other institutions. However, a collection of early mid-century studio ceramics have now become part of the Design Collection, which are currently on loan to the new Wedgwood Museum.

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