Finding Audrey Amiss

  • Serial
Photograph of the top left hand corner of a spiral bound, lined scrapbook. In the centre of the image is a passport photograph of a woman with greying hair, wearing glasses. Pined to her coat collar is a circular badge with the word 'FORCE' written across it. The photo is held to the page with a long strip of yellowing sellotape. There are several other strips of sellotape attached to the page, all running vertically. Handwritten to the right of the photo is the year '2003'.
PP/AMI/D/145: Scrapbook, Audrey Amiss. Source: Audrey Amiss at Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

Living in and out of psychiatric hospitals, the artist Audrey Amiss documented her everyday life in a striking visual diary. When she died, her family donated her archive of hundreds of scrapbooks, sketchbooks and notebooks to Wellcome Collection. In this series, archivist Elena Carter writes about cataloguing and caring for the collection to understand the artist’s life, which is also the subject of the feature film ‘Typist Artist Pirate King’, directed by Wellcome Screenwriting Fellow Carol Morley.

About the contributors

Colour photograph of Elena Carter

Elena Carter


Elena Carter focuses on developing the collections at Wellcome to challenge the way that we think and feel about health. Elena is particularly interested in radical and social histories and material that gives voice to marginalised groups. As Collections Development Archivist, she works directly with people to find the best home for their materials, with a focus on working collaboratively and ethically.

Head and shoulders photograph of a woman on a train, with neck-length hair, falling forward over her right cheek

Kate Wilkinson


Kate works at Pushkin Press. When not submerged in a book, she can be found walking or practising Spanish. Sometimes both at once.