Archival Post


Starting Trinity Term 2021 

archival post image with title

Archival Post welcomes individuals and communities to think critically and creatively about archives as we begin a compendium of how creative practitioners might use archival holdings. Our aim is to democratize and demystify archival research-based practices.

In Trinity 2021, we are mounting a postal exhibition of art-poem posters which we will write, make, and send around the world. The posters are inspired by archival objects and interrogate the archive as a concept. Everyone can get involved: just offer to receive a poster and then send us a photograph of the poster hung up in a shared or public place. Contact Sylee and Kathleen of Archival Post at the email addresses below. 

The exhibition will be presented in a digital catalogue sent to participants and interested members of the public. We will reflect on these exchanges analytically in two blog posts and creatively in a video installation screened at Oxford and online. This pilot inquiry into the creative possibilities of archives will finish with a live online performance open to all.

In our online roundtable  discussion on Wednesday May 12 at 2pm BST, we initiated conversations between researchers, creative practitioners, and anyone already using – or simply intrigued by – creative critical methodologies applied to archives. This roundtable was an opportunity to informally share experiences of working in and around archives.

Archival Post is an interdisciplinary and international collaborative community of creative scholars based at the University of Oxford, led by Kathleen Quaintance and Sylee Gore, with senior mentoring from the team at TORCH, funded by their Interdisciplinary Futures programme. Team members include Abi Allan, Haleigh Bellamy, Martha Cruz, Maggie Wang, and Rowan Wilson, with involvement from Ruby-Anne Birin, Beth Hodgett, Katie Noble, and Freya Marshall Payne.

The art-poem poster created for the project can be seen below, as well as a text only version:

The jewel-toned images show items found in Oxford’s archival boxes and the city’s gardens. The text fields contain original poetry and a cento formed of texts by Jacques Derrida, Hal Foster, and Saidiya Hartman.



Sylee Gore
Kathleen Quaintance