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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.

Black and white photograph of young man (Clifford Edward Vincent) in profile Remembrance Day 2022: Stories Behind the Names
9 November 2022

At this year’s Remembrance Day service passages from the Roll of Honour books held in the University Archives will be read. These books record the names of Queen Mary students who died in military service during World War 1 and World War 2. The stories of three students will be read this year and we have used other student records in the archives to fill in details of the lives beyond their military service. 

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.

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