All staff and students, researchers and external visitors are encouraged to use the extensive collections and expert assistance available in the Archives - and from our colleagues in the Foyle Special Collections Library.
The Archives support the University’s teaching programme by welcoming group and individual visits by students and staff, including introductory and skills-based sessions, and timetabled teaching with hands-on use of archive documents designed for specific courses or modules. The collections provide an invaluable teaching and learning resource, and faculty members who think their students might benefit are encouraged to contact Archives directly or to submit a form through the Libraries & Collections Teaching Offering Libguide.
Anyone wishing to consult original archive documents and manuscripts is welcome to do so in the Archives Reading Room where we will first register you as a Reader.
Many of these items are unique and irreplaceable, so we supervise the Reading Room to maintain the security and preservation of our collections for the benefit of all our Readers. This means we ask everyone visitors to observe the following regulations:
- Only lead pencils and laptop computers may be used in the reading room
- All coats and bags must be stored in the cloakroom, regardless of their size
- A small clear plastic bag containing valuables is permitted
- Mobile phones must be switched to ‘silent’ mode or turned off
- The use of handheld digital cameras is allowed upon completion of a copyright declaration form and at discretion of staff; flash photography is not allowed
- The use of tripod cameras may be permitted in special circumstances, with advance notice and at the discretion of staff
- Complete one order slip for each item or short unbroken sequence required
- Documents ordered at least a working day in advance will be ready for readers on their arrival unless held in offsite storage which will require seven days' notice
- Document ordering times on the day of the visit are 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00 hours
- No food or drink, including bottled water, sweets and chewing gum, can be taken into the Reading Room
- Document handling guidelines (pdf) are displayed on each table, and readers are asked to study these carefully before commencing their research
- Staff may use their discretion to bring up only part of a large order at one time
Please note that you may be refused entry to the Archives Reading Room and access to original materials if you don't strictly follow the regulations.
All researchers must register with us before they are permitted to view the archives, by completing a Reader Registration form (pdf) and presenting two forms of identification, one photographic and one proof of address as listed here. This can be done on the day of your visit.
Find out more about how to register for access to King's Archives
Publishing from the collections
If you wish to reproduce material from the archives in publication, you must obtain permission from us. A publication may be any of the following:
- a printed publication, such as a book, journal article or exhibition catalogue
- a doctoral thesis
- a film, video or television broadcast
- an electronic publication, such as a website or other digital resource
- public display in any form of electronic or hard copy (except for a single copy for use in an academic lecture, conference or seminar)
- use of an image in any form of merchandise
Find out more about reproducing materials from the Archives
Readers are welcome to order copies of material for the purpose of private study either in person or remotely.
We provide the following services:
- Photocopies - provided on paper or digitally in low resolution pdf format. Please allow ten working days for the completion of your order.
- Digital scans – provided via email or on CD. Please allow ten working days for the completion of your order.
- Digital photography – readers are permitted to use handheld digital cameras upon completion of a copyright declaration form and is at the discretion of staff.
- Microform printouts - Print-outs of published microforms may be made by readers.
Please note that copies of copyright material are made solely for the purpose of private study. Readers can make no further use of copied material without first seeking the permission of the copyright holder.
Find out more about obtaining copies of materials from the Archives
Mission statement and policy documents
King’s College London Archives - including the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives - strives to be the best university archive in the UK. Its expert staff provide access to a growing high-quality collection for teaching, research, and public engagement. Its collecting policy supports the strategic vision of the university but its collections are maintained for free for the public and social good; and in the expectation of the widest possible dissemination for information and learning, digital scholarship, and creative reimagination.
Collection management policies
As an accredited archive service and in accordance with the UK standard for archive services, 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.
- are managed in accordance with national and international standards of responsible stewardship so as to ensure their long-term preservation.
- are promoted not only within King's but to the wider scholarly community and to the general public including the loan of items for public exhibition.
For further information please see our policy documents:
Archives Services collection development policy (pdf, 276 KB)
Archives Services collection information policy (pdf, 193 KB)
Archives Services collection care policy (pdf, 194 KB)
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:
Archives Services access policy (pdf, 256 KB)
Donations and deposits
Archives staff are always keen to discuss potential donations and deposits. For more information please look at the information in the PDF below:
LHCMA depositors leaflet (pdf, 7.07 MB)