BCAD Architecture

The BCAD team recently gave a presentation on its website architecture, including a broad overview of the data handling systems and archive management set up.  The purpose was to demonstrate to interested parties and archives at the University of Kent and in particular those involved in the new JISC funded VERDI project.

The presentation was successful and demonstrated certain parts of the BCAD project through the use of screen captures output as video files.

We would be interested in thoughts of others, so please feel free to download a copy of the Powerpoint presentation below and accompanying video files, and feel free to leave comments below.

Supporting videos


Readers of previous posts will know that material from the British Cartoon Archive (BCA) has been used for exhibitions on cartoonist Carl Giles at The Cartoon Museum in London and Ipswich Town Hall. Now that the Ipswich exhibition has finished and the items have been returned, it is time to take stock and see what people have been saying about the exhibitions and the linked relaunch of the BCA website.

As mentioned in a previous post the launch of both events in November 2008 generated press articles and also radio and TV appearances by Dr Nick Hiley, Head of the BCA. Some examples from the newspapers include a review of the London exhibition by broadcaster and writer Libby Purves (also a resident of Suffolk, where Giles lived); a piece by Independent cartoonist Dave Brown; and an article by Maev Kennedy in The Guardian.

There have also been comments on other blogs such as Ian Pile’s Start The Revolution Without Me. General feedback at both exhibitions suggests that people were pleased to have the opportunity to look at the original artwork of the cartoons, and that they also found out more about Carl Giles himself.


The book Giles: One Of The Family (written by Nick Hiley) contains further information about Giles and his work and is available via the BCA website. About 200 copies have been sold so far.

Another recent publication is Giles’s Fighting Forces by John Field (published by Express Newspapers). John has also edited other compilations on Giles.

The London exhibition continues until 15 February 2009.

Happy Christmas


A happy Christmas from the British Cartoon Archive project team, and Carl Giles. Here is a Giles cartoon which was published exactly 32 years ago.

BCA on YouTube

JISC have recently set up a JISCmedia page on YouTube, containing videos and showreels on a number of its key projects.

The British Cartoon Archive is amongst the list and has its own showreel currently online, which discusses the digitisation project and speaks to cartoonist Steve Bell, who recalls the genius of Carl Giles.

Ipswich Exhibition

giles-opening-018 giles-opening-022

The day after the launch of the Giles exhibition at the London Cartoon Museum (see previous post), another one was launched at Ipswich (on Friday 7 November).

This one, called ‘Giles: Drawn To Suffolk’, concentrated more on the Giles connection with Suffolk, as he lived near Ipswich and had a studio in the town.

Material on display included cartoon artwork which had local features and backgrounds, menus and programmes covers drawn for local organisations, and there was also a mock-up of his studio (as there was at the Cartoon Museum).

The main difference between the two exhibitions was the space being used. The Cartoon Museum is ‘cosy’ and the Giles exhibition there is being shown on boards which guide you through the displays. The Ipswich exhibition is being held in a large gallery with a high ceiling, so the items on view are on the four walls and there is a large floor space in the middle for further displays – such as policemens helmets.

November 6th was the night of the “Giles – One of the family” exhibition private viewing which followed on from the successful opening of the exhibition and launch of the website (http://www.cartoons.ac.uk) the day previously.

As well as Artwork on display, there were memorabilia, fan letters, a looping video reel, a recreation of Giles’ studio and also a British Cartoon Archive kiosk allowing access to the website and the digitised images.

People using the BCA kiosk

People using the BCA kiosk

The evening was a large success and plenty of well known faces were all present to sample and enjoy a selection of Carl Giles’ long hidden (and some previously unseen) original artwork on display.

The exhibition is currently open and will be running until February 2009. More details of which can be found on the main website.

Making the news


The imminent launch of two exhibitions on Giles and a website has meant that the British Cartoon Archive (BCA) has been in the news.

Newspaper articles on the archive have appeared recently in The Guardian, The Independent and The Daily Express. More publicity is expected in the next few days so BCA Head Nick Hiley is a busy little bee at the moment. While helping to get the London exhibition set up at the Cartoon Museum he is also fending off calls from journalists wanting more information, so I have an image of him with mobile phone in one hand and trying to hang Giles artwork with the other.

No doubt he will tell us all about it in a later blog.