The Department of Design Research Job Number Book is part of the DDR archive at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  Currently at the museum's store at Blythe House in Blythe Road, West Kensington, London, its future location is uncertain as the store is due to close.  The V&A, Science Museum Group and British Museum all store artefacts at Blythe House.

A VALUABLE RECORD

An important document going back to the early days of the DDR is the Job Number Book.  It lists jobs sequentially whether they were undertaken by the department as such or privately by individuals within the department.  

The opening page notes that only the R/U (presumably Research Unit) director can allocate numbers, or in his absence 'GAP' (Gillian Patterson, a graduate research librarian). Patterson 'was mathematically adept and took on special responsibility for information handling. Subsequently she ran entire projects when they inclined more to this field than to actual design and engineering, and became a Research Fellow in the Unit' (Lawrence 2001). Patterson worked for the Department throughout its existence. She was also the partner of Patrick Purcell. Patrick was a key figure at the RCA, at Imperial and at the MIT Media Lab, and a pioneer of computing in design.

The research project on Archer and the DDR will use the Job Number Book as an important source to establish the chronology of the projects and external relationships of the Department. It requires extensive correlation with other evidence published and unpublished.

 

Lawrence, Ghislaine. (2001) Hospital beds by design: a socio-historical account of the 'King’s Fund Bed', 1960-1975. PhD thesis of the University of London. Available on the British Library Ethos service, ID: uk.bl.ethos.271734. Available online at Archive.org.