Black Cultural Archives (BCA) brings its unique collection of images, artefacts and artworks together online for the first time (

A two-year project in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, we have digitised over 4,000 items from the BCA, forming a series of curated online exhibitions and stories which can be accessed globally to help inspire and educate.

Available on the Google Arts & Culture website and app, the new digital collection utilises innovative technologies including ultra-high resolution Gigapixel photography using the Art Camera to help preserve these important histories for future generations, and to encourage enquiry and dialogue all over the world.

The online exhibit will feature 30+ online stories, with highlights including:

● Rudi Patterson: Visions of Colour

In 1960s London, Rudi Patterson was a self-propelled star. His final art exhibition, entitled ‘Visions of Colour’, was held in 2011 in the West Indian-owned Effra Hall Tavern in Brixton. The BCA holds a collection of his paintings and ceramics, now digitised in breathtaking Gigapixel resolution, using Art Camera technology.

● The Art of Carnival and Masquerading

This exhibit focuses on the various aspects of the Notting Hill Carnival. From the music of Calypso using steel drums, through to sculpters Carl and Lyn Gabriel, who created elaborate costumes for Carnival performers. The exhibit features photos from their personal collection dating back to 1986.

● Black Women’s Movement

Focusing on the work done by the Organisation of Women of African and Asian Descent (OWAAD),co-founded by BCA patron and writer Stella Dadzie. The exhibit features many materials from Stella’s personal collection, showcasing the spread of activity that OWAAD undertook in the 1970s and 1980s. From education and health care, to employment and activism.

● Black British Dance

This exhibit explores how Dance in Britain has evolved through the successive interactions of people from around the world, building on ancient and new social dance forms. Looking into the history of dance through the lens of Black British history gives new visions of the past and the future.

While Google’s mission is to make the world’s information more accessible, Google Arts & Culture aims to celebrate and share a diverse range of art, culture and heritage with everyone, everywhere. This is just the beginning of Google’s partnership with BCA, and both organisations look forward to making more inspiring moments of Black British culture and history accessible to all.

Arike Oke, Managing Director, Black Cultural Archives said: “As BCA is the home of Black British history, it’s extremely fitting that we’ve been able to collaborate with Google on this important project. The fact that people from across the world will now be able to access our archive digitally is a perfect compliment to our mission to put our history on the map”.

Amit Sood, Director of Google Arts & Culture said: “We’re passionate about making culture accessible to anyone, anywhere. This partnership with the Black Cultural Archives is a superb example of how innovative technology can be used to help bring exciting content to a global audience, as well as to secure invaluable historical artefacts, artworks and images for future generations”.

Explore the Black Cultural Archives collection on Google Arts & Culture or using the app on iOS or Android.