UCL Special Collections is one of the foremost university collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books in the UK. It includes fine collections of medieval manuscripts and early printed books, notably from the C.K. Ogden Collection and Graves Library, and significant holdings of 18th century works. It also includes highly important 19th and 20th century collections of personal papers, archival material, and literature, covering a vast range of subject areas, notably Latin American archives, Jewish collections and the George Orwell Archive.
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.
UCL Special Collections is reference only. In order to use the collections, you need to book an appointment: at least two weeks prior to the date of your proposed visit. Please do not make any travel or accommodation arrangements until we have confirmed your appointment. We are not able to accommodate drop-in visits. See the Visiting Us Special Collection page for more information.
Search the catalogues for collections held across: