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Current Maughan Library exhibition

Our current Maughan Library exhibition, 'The nearest run thing you ever saw': the Battle of Waterloo, runs from 10 June to 23 September 2015. Further details are available here.

King's building foyer exhibition

Image of military men and trucks busy at a dockside in Gallipoli in 1915 next to a large ship with two funnelsCurrently highlighted in the King's Building foyer is a new exhibition The Gallipoli Campaign, illuminating a military effort in World War One during which the Allies attempted to seize the narrow Dardanelles Straits in Turkey in order to defeat the Ottoman empire.

After heavy losses, the campaign which began in February 1915 ended in January 1916 with no change in the control of the straits.  A series of images and documents provides insight into this struggle. 

Entry is free to everyone.

Permanent displays

Celebrating DNA is a display cabinet filled with items from the College Archives illustrating the crucial work done in x-ray crystallography at King's College London in the early 1950s by Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind Franklin along with their colleagues.

This led directly to the discovery of the helical structure of DNA. The items can be viewed in a display cabinet on the first floor of the main King's building at the Strand.

Additional displays of matter from the College Archives are on view in the Student Informal Study Space and foyer of the Physics department offices.  Access to some of these areas is controlled.

Online exhibitions

Online exhibition pages authored by Archives and Special Collections staff give a good idea of the breadth of subject matter our collections cover and the quality of images we can make available. Increasingly, the exhibitions we create are supplemented by online exhibitions to make content accessible to those unable to visit in person.

Archive and Special Collections Exhibitions 

New online exhibitions

Coming to London 


image of students in costumes on a vehicle exiting onto the Strand through the old Strand entranceComing to London has been added to our online Archives exhibitions. It looks at the way King’s students have experienced London from challenges of the nineteenth century, through to the wars of the twentieth century - including overseas students welcomed as refugees fleeing oppression. 

Fruits of the earth: plants in the service of mankind

From a paradise of pleasant flowers I am fallen (Adam like) to a world of profitable herbes and plants. 

The constituent parts of a cocoa or chocolate tree. From: Robert Bentley and Henry Trimen. Medicinal plants. Volume 1, 1880So wrote the herbalist John Parkinson in the opening chapter of his monumental work of 1640, Theatrum botanicum, and in this exhibition we explore that world of ‘profitable herbes and plants’ in all its manifestations and throughout the history of their use by mankind.

To view the exhibition, please click here.

In the Beginning....

1833 engraving of new Smirke building at King's College LondonThis recent online exhibition from the Archives, In the Beginning... explains the early history of King's College London.  Topics discussed and illustrated include the reason for its foundation, its location on the Strand in London next to Somerset House, its construction and early college life.

From woodcut to photograph: techniques of book illustration

Illustration of a colourful fish from an 1841 work on the fishes of Ceylon‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ – this commonplace adage reflects a widespread appreciation of the value of the visual image as both an aid to understanding and a stimulus to emotional or aesthetic response. That appreciation is reflected in the long and varied history of book illustration and in the constant striving by printers, illustrators and inventors to develop better ways of reproducing illustrations accurately and economically - themes we explore in this exhibition.


This exhibition ran from 22 January - 15 April 2014 in the Weston Room at the Maughan Library. It is now available to view online here.


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