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Archives and Special Collections

The Archives holds a wealth of fascinating institutional, personal archives and rare prints, dating from the 17th Century to the present day. The collections document the rich history of the College, and provide vital evidence for research in the arts, humanities and social science. See the blogs below to find out more about our collections or follow us on Instagram qmarchives.

Cartoon of Violet Aitken captioned Building Mile End Library: First Librarians
7 October 2022

The Building Mile End Library exhibition takes you through the origins of the “Student’s Library” 1890-1920, the move to the new “Old Library” in the Octagon in 1921 and the construction of the Mile End Library 1988-9. But as much as buildings shape the library’s history at the Mile End Campus so do the people. In this blog we will focus particularly on the lives and careers of the earliest librarians that took the student library from a small room in the Queen’s building to the “Old Library” in the Octagon.

Group of ten students, two male and eight women, and Hilaire Belloc posed for a class photograph HILAIRE BELLOC AT EAST LONDON COLLEGE
25 July 2022

Hilaire Belloc was Head of English Language and Literature 1911-1913 at East London College (the former name of Queen Mary University of London). We recently re-discovered this connection because of a photograph in our collections. This role as university educator is not one that has been highlighted before in Belloc’s biography. He is otherwise remembered for his politics, poetry and journalism.

Quotation in gilt lettering on a grey stone plaque above the door of the Museum and Library Block at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London The Tradition of Quotations
11 March 2022

A blog by Rare Books and Special Collections Assistant Anne-Marie McHarg.

Illustration of Octagon Dome design showing names of ancient writers on base of dome EIGHT OCTAGON ANCIENT WRITERS: EURIPIDES
4 March 2022

Have you ever ventured into the Octagon, which used to be the Queen Mary library, for meetings or lectures and has your eye started wandering around the room? In doing so your gaze may have rested on the gold plated names etched in the base of the dome. These are the names of eight Greek and Roman philosophers and poets that lived in the ancient world, whose works are still read today. This week the focus is on Euripides. A series by Special Collections Information Assistant Anne Marie McHarg.

Three publications by Towns and Development New Collection: United Kingdom One World Association and Towns & Development
21 February 2022

New Collection Alert! We recently received a donation of the United Kingdom One World Association and Towns & Development Records.  We are excited to announce it has undergone our initial processing and is ready for researchers to dig into. A collections overview is on our catalogue Ref. OWLTD and a box list is available on request. Read on to find out more about this new addition.

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