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About Archives and Special Collections

Archives and Special Collections signature image of woman writing 1940sArchives & Special Collections oversee the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College London Archives and the Foyle Special Collections Library. We hold a unique, internationally significant and continually expanding range of archival and printed sources, ensuring their preservation and providing access to our users from King's and the public.

Teaching and research

All students and staff are encouraged to use the extensive facilities and expert assistance available in Archives & Special Collections.

Archives & Special Collections support the university’s teaching programme by welcoming group visits by students and staff, including general familiarisation visits for newly-inducted students and timetabled teaching sessions involving hands-on use of archive documents and rare books designed for specific course modules. We also provide workshops and visits for the Summer School and Widening Participation programmes. Recent sessions have been hosted for departments as diverse as History, War Studies, English, Physics, Nursing & Midwifery, and Geography.

The collections of historical material held in Archives & Special Collections provide an invaluable teaching resource, and faculty members who think their students might benefit are encouraged to contact Archives & Special Collections.

Foyle Special Collections Library Reading Room

Engagement and outreach

Archives & Special Collections creates exhibitions and supplies images of rare books and archives for events such as conferences, festivals, fundraising, and Alumni Weekend, as well as undertaking historical tours of the university's campuses and hosting visits in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Rooms, supporting the university’s engagement strategy.

We also contribute to university publications such as In Touch and facilitate requests from broadcast production companies and publishers.

Excellence in the sector

The Archives are a lead partner in AIM25, an online portal providing access to the archives catalogues of more than 150 institutions in the London area, attracting a wide variety of worldwide users including researchers, students, family historians and the media.

In addition, we participated in the United Kingdom Archives Discovery Network,  to improve access and discovery of the content of archives, libraries, museums and galleries; chair the Health Archives & Records Group, to help national strategy in relation to national medical records; and sit on the steering group of the Higher Education Archive Programme..

Follow AIM25 on Twitter @AIM25news

Collection management policies

We seek to ensure -

  • That our collections are developed so as to build on existing strengths in accordance with a logical and sustainable collection development policy  
  • That our collections are managed in accordance with national and international standards of responsible stewardship so as to ensure their long-term preservation  
  • That our collections are promoted not only within King's but to the wider scholarly community and to the general public (by, for example, the loan of items for public exhibition)

For further information please see our policy documents: 

Access

The principles guiding the provision of access to King’s College London College Archives and the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives are explained in our access policy, available here:

Gifts

Please see our Gifts and donations web page for information on donating items to Archives & Special Collections and to Library Services.   

Child protection policy

We are commited to ensuring that any children who visit the reading rooms are safe. For details, please consult our Child protection policy (pdf, 116 KB). 

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