Beehive Design Collective Materials
About the Beehive Design Collective:
"The Beehive Design Collective is a wildly motivated, all-volunteer, activist arts collective dedicated to “cross-pollinating the grassroots” by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images for use as educational and organizing tools. [They] work as word-to-image translators of complex global stories, shared through conversations with affected communities.
[They] seek to cut out the constant queries of “who made that?” and “how much does it cost?” from [the] creative process. [They] work anonymously by crediting every graphic to the collective as a whole; you won’t find the names of individual artists listed anywhere. [They] distribute graphics by sliding scale donations, and try to give away roughly half of the materials [printed] to frontline communities, educators, and organizers actively working on the issues in the posters.
[They] build and disseminate these visual tools with the hope that they will self-replicate, and take on life of their own. It gives a huge surge of energy knowing that others are taking the helm and using these graphics in their own communities. To make this abundant cross-pollination possible, all [BDC] work is licensed under the Creative Commons (CC).
At the core of [this] group, there are usually 10 to 15 Bees committed to moving [the] work forward on an ongoing basis. [There is] also a strong decentralized network of part time bees whose contributions are integral to [the work]...Together [they] work to find creative ways to collaborate and make both [their] local and global vision of the Beehive a reality."
(Beehive Design Collective, 2015)
About the BDC Collection at Colby Libraries' Special Collections and Archives:
Special Collections & Archives, part of the Colby Libraries, began to acquire physical copies of Beehive Design Collective (BDC) posters in 2019. Our interest in the BDC was - and continues to be - based on the distinctive nature of their activist work and the astounding intricacy of their graphics. Our BDC collection now comprises over two dozen giant posters and smaller graphics, all of which can be located in the Libraries web catalog using an author search for Beehive Design Collective.
In addition to acquisition of physical materials, we have established a relationship with BDC activists still residing in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. Our first on site BDC activist residency occurred in October 2022 when two Bees came to Colby to work with Environmental Science faculty and students as well as others passionate about environmental and social justice. We hope to offer more BDC residencies, to provide opportunities for the campus and greater Waterville communities to engage with these amazing activists.
Special Collections & Archives is located on the first floor of Miller Library. We are stewards of the college’s rare and unique materials including the college archives. We welcome you to come by and explore our collections. We also utilize our materials within our busy teaching program, which brings hundreds of students through our doors every academic year. More information about us can be found here.