Thursday, 14 February 2013

Frustrating News

Today I encountered some frustrating news. Having contacted the V&A about visiting to view items from the reserve collection I received an automated reply in which I was informed that:

'We are unable to offer any appointments to view objects in our stores until autumn 2013 because we are building a new visitor centre at our Blythe Road branch in Kensington Olympia. This major development involves moving more than 80,000 items of textiles and dress and will take over two years. The Clothworkers' Study Centre for Textiles and Fashion Study and Conservation will be a dedicated facility to study, conserve and store the Museum's collection of textiles and fashion.'

In addition the textile galleries are also closed '(Rooms 98-100) have closed as part of the Museum's extensive FuturePlan programme of refurbishment.'

I suppose work of this kind is necessary in order to improve access to collections but it is very frustrating when working on a project with a limited time frame.  I do wish they would put something on the website to make it clear. Unfortunately this means I will have to look elsewhere for my research.

I will look forward to seeing the new visitor centre when it is finished!


  1. how frustrating for you to find that the v&a won't be accessible - you will have to be all the more resourceful
    have you come across the book "Cut My Cote" by Dorothy Burnham, i recently got it on inter-library loan but it's the sort of thing your faculty would have - it might be worth a look to help date the shirt
    i'll be following your progress with interest - good luck

    1. Thank you very much for that recommendation, that book looks fascinating. I have now ordered myself a copy and will suggest our library sources a copy too.

      I have a couple more collections to try, but had hoped for the V&A because it has such an extensive collection. Resourcefulness definitely a necessity for researchers!

  2. My copy of Cut My Cote arrived in the post this week - an excellent recommendation, so many thanks stickyfingers.