Arts and social science resources
Researchers in film and media have benefitted from significant investment in high end filmmaking equipment, including a Red One camera and Sony EX3s.The department provides specialist labs equipped with I-Mas and specialist software including Final Cut Studio Pro and Adobe CS5 Master Suite.
A dedicated research room is equipped with PCs and a highend spec MacPro. There are also audio recording facilities for voiceover and Foley work with Logic Pro and Pro Tools software and a film studio facility with backgrounds and greenwall.
In addition, the news room and journalism lab provide extensive facilities and resources for media work.
Kingston University has an established research interest in Iris Murdoch, recognised internationally as one of the most significant British writers of the twentieth century.
In 2004 Kingston University acquired two important archives, which provided substantial new resource material to add to its existing extensive Murdoch collections. The first was Iris Murdoch's working library, kept in her Oxford home, in which she made detailed annotations recording her immediate reactions to the many philosophers and writers with whom she engaged in her own writing.
In the same year the University acquired the working archive of Peter Conradi, Iris Murdoch's authorised biographer, which included correspondence, typescripts, working notes, interview transcripts and cassettes, background research, press cuttings and reviews gathered for essays and publications relating to the writer. The archive also includes letters written by Murdoch and her unpublished book on Heidegger with holograph corrections.
Further additions to the Murdoch Archives have included Murdoch's working library from her London home and a number of individual items and letter runs (a number comprising some hundreds of letters) from contemporaries and friends, such as Raymond Queneau and Hal Lidderdale. These working archives, and other material on or by Iris Murdoch, support the work of the Centre for Iris Murdoch Studies. The Archives' catalogue is available online. Find out more.
The University holds an archive relating to the University itself and its predecessor bodies. This collection includes:
- notebooks, sketchbooks and other material relating to Barbara Freeman, a student at Kingston School of Art in the 1920s;
- archives of Gipsy Hill Teacher Training College, which was founded in 1917 and was amalgamated with Kingston Polytechnic in 1975;
- material relating to the life of its first principal, Lillian de Lissa (1885-1967);
- material relating to the Kingston School of Art (also Kingston College of Art) prior to its merger with Kingston Polytechnic.
There are a number of prospectuses, volumes of press cuttings, some records relating to former students, and minutes of meetings. Find out more.
Our practice-based researchers in music and composition benefit from the Coombehurst complex, which provides a range of professional studio facilities and practice rooms.
The department owns an extensive collection of instruments, including around 30 pianos, a harpsichord, stage pianos, drum kits, and orchestral and classroom instruments. There is also a double size Javanese gamelan and a set of djembe drums. The Nightingale Resources Centre is home to the music library, which holds an extensive collection of books, anthologies, scores, sheet music, periodicals, and audio and video recordings. The University also subscribes to an excellent range of e-resources for music, including Grove Music Online, RILM and the Naxos Online Recordings catalogue which are accessible from all University workstations.
Several of our music researchers are active in the composition and performance of live electronic music, including the development of new electronic instruments. The recording studio provides a 30 m2 control room with professional-standard facilities; Tie lines to 15m2 live room; Toft ATB32 analogue desk; Apple Mac Pro Quad-core computer; Digidesign 003 recording interface; Tascam DA88 digital multitrack recorder; Akai sampler; 2 x Midi sound module; Compressor; Noise gate; Multi effects machine; DV Video Capture. Numerous professional software packages are available including ProTools LE, Final Cut Studio, Logic Pro, Max/MSP/Jitter, IRCAM Forum software and Sibelius.
A wide range of MIDI controllers are available for live electronic performances and installations including fader boxes, infrared proximity sensors, bend sensors, pressure sensors and video sensors. The department has several portable computer systems equipped with Max/MSP. Take a Virtual tour or find out more on the faculty site.
Kingston University houses the archives of the Orange Prize for Fiction, one of the UK's most prestigious literary awards. The prize is awarded annually to a female author of any nationality for the best full-length novel written in English and published in the UK in the previous 12 months. The archive includes documents dating back 20 years to the first meeting to discuss the foundation of a new prize for women's writing. It is a valuable resource for researchers, authors and journalists as well those interested in wider social trends. The archive also includes information about the educational, lifelong learning and literacy projects funded by the prize. Find out more.
Researchers in psychology benefit from purpose-built research laboratories. The suite is comprised of a large lab with 25 PCs; a large observation/test room with remote controlled digital cameras and microphones, connected to a monitoring room with recording equipment and video editing facilities; a lab housing psychophysiological monitoring equipment (Biopac MP100 Advanced system for the recording and analysis of psychophysiological data) and neuropsychological test apparatus (CANTAB Eclipse portable neuropsychological test battery, with touchscreen tablet PC, to measure a wide range of neuropsychological functions); a vision/cognitive laboratory housing eye-tracker equipment (Binocular head-mounted EyeLink II eyetracker system, with high-speed image processing PCI Board, display PC and host PC); and six further laboratories of varying sizes equipped with networked Mac/PC hardware and extra-large wall-mounted monitors suitable for HD video presentation.
The University also subscribes to the web-based Sona Systems research participant management application. Specialist software E-Prime, SuperLab, SPSS, Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Cooledit, Presentations and SurveyMonkey are also available. Find out more.
The University holds the records of Publishing News magazine, which was published for members of the book trade between 1979 and 2008. The collection contains a full run of the magazine, as well as photographs, research files compiled by the editors of the magazine, records relating to the British Book Awards, and other documents. The collection provides a perfect snapshot of the publishing and book trades in the late twentieth century. Find out more.
The David Heneker Archive contains the papers of musical theatre composer David Heneker (1906–2001). Amongst the many shows he wrote or contributed to are Half a Sixpence, Irma la Douche and Charlie Girl. The collection contains his working papers for the many shows he worked on, including script drafts and original scores and lyrics for songs, as well as memorabilia such as programmes and posters. The collection is fascinating for anyone interested in musical theatre and David Heneker’s work, as well as illustrating how stage shows are taken from initial idea to production and beyond. Find out more.
The University has acquired the books and papers of renowned theatre critic Sheridan Morley (1941–2007). The collection includes Sheridan Morley’s collection of books as removed from his home.
The library, which runs into many thousands of volumes, covers the subjects of theatre, film and biography, amongst others. Some of the books are signed by the authors, or contain personal dedications. The collection at Kingston also includes:
- Sheridan Morley’s personal papers and other items, amongst them many volumes of press cuttings of his reviews; research notes for many of his biographies including that of Noel Coward; correspondence with many actors, including John Gielgud, Alec Guinness and others; photographs; documents relating to the various productions in which he was involved; and personal documents such as his passports and diaries;
- documents and photographs relating to his father, the actor Robert Morley, and his grandmother, the actress Gladys Cooper; and
- a number of objects collected by the critic.
Kingston University is home to over 5,000 books on the history of the Balkans which belonged to Vane Ivanovic (1913–1999), an athlete, ship owner, collector, philanthropist and diplomat who, during his many years of exile from Communist Yugoslavia after World War II, worked towards a democratic and united Yugoslavia. The collection includes books in English, Serbo Croatian and other languages. Find out more.
The Archives and Special Collections hold two collections of theatre programmes.
Cary Ellison Theatre Programme Collection
Cary Ellison began his career as an actor in 1939, spending many years touring in theatrical productions. Eventually Ellison moved on from acting and joined casting directory Spotlight in 1953. As part of his work Ellison would tour repertory theatre companies twice a year, making notes on each play, including the cast and director, to help match the actors with suitable parts, and to identify future stars. He retired from the spotlight in 1980, and died in 2002.
The Cary Ellison Theatre Programme Collection consists of the theatre programmes he collected on his tours of repertory theatres from 1953 to 1980 with his notes on the cast and plays. The notes they contain are very detailed and in some cases run to great length. The collection provides a history of British repertory theatre for the latter part of the 20th century, as well as providing a glimpse into the early careers of some well-known stars.
Brian Smith Theatre Programme Collection
Brian Smith was born in Australia in 1930. He was an extremely successful scholar and became a teacher before deciding to leave for Britain in 1956. In 1960 he became head of maths at Hammersmith and West London College where he worked until his retirement. Outside work Brian was extremely passionate about the arts in all its forms: cinema, literature, music, theatre and ballet. In his early days as a teacher he supplemented his income by working as a dresser in London's West End. Throughout his life he continued to visit the theatre regularly to see plays and concerts.
The Brian Smith Theatre Programme Collection contains all of the theatre programmes that Brian Smith collected through his many years of visiting the theatre. A number of programmes for first runs of significant plays are included, and he saw a great many productions by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC). There are also programmes for operas and classical music concerts. The collection forms a great resource on London theatre in the late 20th century.