We have launched a new website and are reviewing this page. Find out more


Angela McShane
Tutor in Graduate Studies, RCA/V&A MA in History of Design
Angela McShane

Angela McShane

Welcome to the second edition of the V&A Online journal complete with a new editorial team. The journal continues in its aim to provide a forum for research papers from scholars inside and outside the V&A that will open up new ways of interrogating material culture, current design practice, histories of design and all other museum related fields. The V&A has always been at the forefront of creating new knowledge and understanding in these fields, and we hope that the V&A Online Journal will provide one more vehicle through which this knowledge can be disseminated and refined through scholarly dialogue.

This year's edition brings together articles on topics as divergent as James II coronation bells, Manchu Shoes and the Computer Art holdings at the V&A. Together, they all demonstrate how new acquisitions and museum projects, have served to inspire primary research, new methodological approaches and rethinking about the broader issues in histories of design and museum practice.

Since its foundation, the V&A's remit has been to expand awareness of the histories of design, to educate and inspire new designers and the design industry in general. For the past 25 years, the joint V&A/RCA MA in History of Design has been responsible for training many of the design professionals now working in locations that vary from university departments, collections and research departments in museums, magazine and journal offices and design studios. The course has recently expanded to include a new specialism on 'Asian Design History: 1400 to the present' enabling students to study the incredible riches of the V&A's Asian collections. We are delighted to be able to highlight in this edition just one example of the new research this has encouraged.

The benefits of an on-line format mean that we can incorporate feedback on individual pieces and suggestions for further articles and sections in a proactive and open manner. Inclusion is not restricted to V&A staff and, provided that submissions meet the standards set by our Editorial team and peer reviewers, we welcome articles for future issues on the history of art, architecture and design relating to the V&A 's collections, public programme or institutional history; features focusing on new acquisitions or objects linked to V&A exhibitions; reflections on the educational or creative industries role of the Museum and reviews and previews of V&A publications, conferences or displays. Further details on submission are available at www.vam.ac.uk/vandajournal and we can be contacted at vandajournal@vam.ac.uk.

I would very much like to thank all who have contributed to the successful production of this issue, the authors of individual articles and the following staff:

Journal Production and Design

Editor Angela McShane
Sub-Editor Samantha Safer
Copy Editor Catherine Gregg
Research Department Lindsay Flood
Web Team Andrew Lewis

Editorial Advisors

Glenn Adamson
Sonia Ashmore
Christopher Breward
Ann Eatwell
Sue Prichard
Jana Scholze
Louise Shannon