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Leeds Animation Workshop Collection Guide



The Leeds Animation Workshop (LAW) archive documents the history and workings of Britain’s first all-female led animation collective. The Workshop began in 1978 and is still active, working from a terraced house in the Harehills area of Leeds. The workshop produces films that address various important social issues, using animation to tackle sometimes difficult subjects in an approachable way. Topics covered include, among others: Racism, sexism, homophobia, inequality in the workplace, global environmental issues and family topics such as grief. They have now produced over 40 animated films. 

A full filmography can be found below, click on the titles to see what the archive contains for each film.

About the Archive

This archive includes the following series.


This series documents the everyday workings of an animation workshop and women's collective. It includes: 

  • Financial Records
  • Funding applications
  • Meeting minutes
  • Distribution of LAW films
  • Other activities such as education and exhibition 

Film Projects

Files and items relating to the animation process and films. This includes:

  • Research files 
  • Film files, these contain papers relating to specific projects such as correspondence financial information and planning documents
  • Audio Visual materials including 16mm film reels, VHS, DVD and CDs (Please note that it may not be possible to access some of these formats due to equipment needs or conservation requirements) 
  • Animation artworks including preparatory drawings and sketches 
  • Storyboards and scripts
  • Dope sheets and dubbing charts. 
  • Printed publicity materials such as brochures, VHS covers and flyers  

Networks and Publicity

Files and printed material that demonstrate the networks of organisations that Leeds Animation Workshop existed within and the media presence of the workshop. It includes:

  • Reviews and Articles
  • Allied Organisations such as trade unions 
  • Printed Material collection   

Sensitive content 

Leeds Animation Workshop is an organisation that produces films that shine a light on various important, but sometimes difficult, topics. Due to this work the archive contains subjects that some may find sensitive, distressing or possibly traumatic. These topics include child bereavement, sexual abuse and assault, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and prejudice against the LGBT+ community. The archive may also contain out-dated language that some may find sensitive or offensive.  

Searching the Collection 

Use the dedicated search bar at the top of this page to search exclusively through the Leeds Animation Workshop Archive. Material from the collection can also be found via searching the general Special Collections catalogue, using appropriate keywords such as “Leeds Animation Workshop”. By using the Advanced Search option, you can include the class mark “MS 2267” to narrow your search to items from this specific collection. 

To help get started, researchers may find it useful to watch videos on how to use the catalogue to access material in Special Collections. The videos explain how to search material via the catalogue, use a collections hierarchy, and find digital collections. 

How to Access the Material 

Researchers can access material from the Leeds Animation Workshop archive in several different ways:  

  • for consultation in person in the Brotherton Research Centre 
  • for consultation virtually with a member of the Brotherton Research Centre team 
  • by ordering images for personal research through the Brotherton Research Centre’s access image service  
  • by ordering high-quality images through the Brotherton Research Centre’s digitisation service.  Please note that Special Collection does not hold the copyright to the Leeds Animation Workshop archive so any requests to reuse or copy the material within will need to be approved by Leeds Animation Workshop.  

 Please see the Plan a Visit page for more information about these options.  

 Material from the Leeds Animation Workshop archive can also be used to support teaching within the University. Please see the Teaching Support page for more information on how to reserve material for teaching or group study sessions.  


Further Information 

For further help or information, please contact the Brotherton Research Centre team at