Barbican and Guildhall School Archive

Original Map of the Barbican Site

Barbican and Guildhall School Archive

To lead this project, we have been joined by Postdoctoral Research Fellows, Matthew Harle and Tom Overton, who will be researching, assembling and curating our new archive. The archive will tell the stories of how the buildings came about, how they work, and how artists and audiences have defined them. In the process, it will become a key collection of architecture, design and the performing arts.

If you’d like to get in touch, have materials to contribute to the archive, or would like to learn more about the project, you can contact our Archive team on

If you're an alumnus of the Guildhall School and are also interested in contributing to the project, please also contact our alumni office directly at Please note the archive is a current research project and not a public repository, so we are unable to provide materials to members of the public on enquiry.

Find out more about our history on the Barbican Blog.

About our Research Fellows

Matthew Harle completed an AHRC-funded PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, where he wrote about archives and abandonment in literature, film and architecture. He has published in a variety of academic journals and taught literature and cultural studies at Birkbeck and King’s College, London. He is an Associate Research Fellow of Birkbeck's Department of English & Humanities, and in 2014, was AHRC Research Fellow at the Huntington Library, California. Matthew’s book, The Afterlives of Abandoned Work, will be published in 2018 for Bloomsbury.

Prior to the Barbican and Guildhall School, Matthew worked for the British Film Institute’s archive television programming team, and is currently editing a book on the cult Play for Today, Penda’s Fen for Strange Attractor Press. Alongside academia, Matthew writes about contemporary culture and curates screenings and exhibitions around London, most recently for BFI Southbank, Whitechapel Gallery, The National Gallery and The Cinema Museum.

Tom Overton catalogued the archive of the writer and artist John Berger at the British Library as part of an AHRC-funded PhD, and edited Portraits: John Berger on Artists and Landscapes: John Berger on Art for Verso Books. He is now writing Berger's biography, and then a book on archives, migration and technology, both for Allen Lane.

Tom has worked on archival digitisation projects for the British Library and British Council and curated exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery and Somerset House; he has been Writer-in-Residence at Jerwood Visual Arts, Research Fellow at the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, and is currently a Visiting  Fellow at the Centre for Life-writing Research, King's College London. His writing is collected at, and he tweets @tw_overton.