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Museum and Collections History

The Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture developed from a number of collections acquired by Middlesex University between the late 1960s and the 1990s. The first and most important of these was the Silver Studio, which was given to what was then the Hornsey College of Art in 1966. 

Further acquisitions followed in subsequent years; the Crown Wallpaper Collection, for example, was acquired in 1989, and the Charles Hasler Collection in 1993.  Our Domestic Design Collection includes several thousand books, catalogues and magazines relating to the design and decoration of the home.  We also hold Sir James Richard's library of books on architecture and town planning.

The collections are concerned with separate but related themes:
  • - the design and decoration of ‘ordinary’ homes of the early and mid-twentieth century especially relating to the development of suburbia;
  • - the process of being a designer of mass market furnishings; 
  • - the continuing relevance of the collections as a source of inspiration for the creative practice of today’s students

We have not yet made every item in the museum's collections available to search online via this website.  However, all of our books and pamphlets are searchable via the Middlesex University library catalogue, and an archive list of Silver Studio correspondence is available to download as a pdf.
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