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Library Services



Education (Curriculum Resources and Initial Teacher Education)

Special Collections

UCL Special Collections is one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK. Our holdings span the 4th century to the present day and cover a vaste range of subject areas and disciplines. The strengths of the collections include language, literature and poetry from the 15th to the 21st centuries, 20th and 21st century small-press publishing, politics and social policy, History of Science, Mathematics, Latin American history and economics, Hebraica and Judaica, Education, the history of London and the history of UCL.

Special Collections: Educational theory and practice

The Special Collections at the Institute of Education Library contain a wide range of resources related to educational theory and practice. Among them:

The Historical Textbook collection comprises of British school textbooks, covering all educational levels, from nursery to sixth form. It covers all aspects of the curriculum, with particular strengths in history and science.  Most material dates from the late nineteenth century onwards, with strong holdings from 1920-1960.  The collection is still growing, with newer material relegated from the library's current holdings, and occasional accessions of older material where appropriate.

The History of Education Collection includes material on all aspects of education, published before 1940. Although the majority of these resources are from the 19th and 20th century, we also hold books published in the 16th, 17th and 18th century. 

The School Exam Papers Collection refers to public examinations for pupils aged 16 and 18 and includes publications by the main examining boards. 

The Schools, Colleges and Universities Histories Collection focuses on the history of individual schools across the UK, told by parents, pupils, academics, local researchers and many others. 

The resources listed above (as well as the other special collections about education) can only be accessed for reference and an appointment needs tob be arranged in advance. Please contact the Institute of Education Library in the first instance. 

Visiting Special Collections

Anyone with a need to consult our collections is welcome to do so. UCL Special Collections is reference only. It is essential to book in advance to make sure of a reading room place and that the items requested are available. Please contact us at least two weeks before you intend to visit. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate drop-in visits.

Archives and manuscripts - search the catalogue

Search the catalogues for collections held across:

  • UCL Special Collections comprising UCL Archives, UCL Records and the Institute of Education (IOE);
  • School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES);
  • Queen Square Archives comprising the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (UCLH) and UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology.