The WAL App is part of a research project begun by Dr. Ana-Maria Herman in 2016, while a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Invention and Social Process (CISP) located in the Sociology Department at Goldsmiths, University of London and a Research Associate at the Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths Library. Dr. Herman is currently an Assistant Professor in the Information Technology Management department at Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University – where she is continuing to examine the implications of releasing the WAL.

Overall, the WAL App research project seeks to understand the possibilities and limitations of app technolgies and social media in effecting social change. It has two aims:

  • Phase 1: To make the ‘WAL app’ (a prototype) showcasing the artworks of women featured in the Women’s Art Library archive, providing a way for women’s art to travel outside the walls of the Library – i.e. ‘to make the archive travel’.
  • Phase 2: To research the ‘effectiveness’ of app technologies and social media in promoting social change – i.e. can this app raise awareness of the Women’s Art Library archive? Women artists and their work? The wage gap?

The Principal Investigator  

Dr. Ana-Maria Herman is the principal investigator. Dr. Herman completed her PhD in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London, examining app development and social media use in museums. Dr. Herman also holds an MBA and an MSc. In addition to her academic achievements, she also holds professional experience developing information technology strategies and complex financial cases for initiatives in large organisations.

The Women’s Art Library

The Women’s Art Library began as an artists’ initiative that developed into an arts organization publishing catalogues and books as well as a magazine from the early 1980s to 2002. The main purpose however was to provide a place for women artists to deposit unique documentation of their work. The Library collected personal files that functioned together as an alternative public space to view and experience women’s art. Thousands of artists from around the world are represented in some form in this collection. To find out more about the Library and its collections visit the Library’s website.

The Funding of this Project

Phase 1 received equal funding from the Women’s Art Library, Goldsmiths’ Research Development Funds (CIG) and Goldsmiths’ Public Engagement Grants. CISP provided funding for the costs of the Launch.

Phase 2 is funded by a TRSM Research Development Grant awarded by TRSM Research and Graduate Programs at Ryerson University.

Thank You for your Support

This project would not have been possible without the help of many supportive communities. Special thanks to the Curator of the Women’s Art Library, Althea Greenan, and to Dr. Michael Guggenheim, Co-Director of the Centre for Invention and Social Process for welcoming this project at CISP in 2016. Thank you to TRSM Research and Graduate Programs for supporting ‘Phase 2’ of the project. And many thanks to all those who have been involved with and/or downloaded the WAL App – it all matters!