Guide to Collections
Statement of Purpose
The Archives and Special Collections are part of the Library and Student Services, which supports all College knowledge creation and knowledge dissemination.
Specific objectives are:
- To preserve and protect the Archive collections.
- To support the College's teaching and research programmes by affording appropriate access to the collections in the Archives.
- To transfer knowledge generated by the College to business and the community regionally, nationally, internationally by providing and promoting appropriate external access to the collections in the Archives, and as such support the College's dedication to the public good.
The Archives and Special Collections hold a wealth of fascinating institutional, personal archives and rare prints, dating from the 17th century to the present day. Among its varied collections, the Archives hold:
- University archives: the institutional records of Queen Mary University of London 1882 to present.
- Private papers of individuals, and the records of several organisations: dating from the 18th century to the 1990s.
- Rare prints: dating from 17th century to the 1960s.
- Rare books: publications collected by Queen Mary and its predecessor organisations dating from 16th century to 20th century
- Special Collections: Leo Baeck Institute London's Collections and Archive of the Now
The collections are in a range of formats, including paper (e.g. letters, minutes and printed reports), publications, manuscripts, photographs, prints, parchment, cinefilm, audio cassette, video, digital media and artefacts. Records of the medical colleges are held by St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London Archives and Museums.
Archives Catalogue and Information Resources
The Archives Catalogue contains collection, file and item level descriptions of the college archives, private papers and rare print collections. Search the Archives Catalogue for records relating to your research, or for the names of persons or places featured in the collections. Digital images of some of the items in the collections are available.
Archive resource guides are available to download for the following subjects:
- History of Emotions [PDF 2,762KB]
- Science and Engineering [PDF 3,418KB]
- Drama [PDF 543KB]
- English [PDF 661KB]
- History [PDF 482KB]
- Human Geography [PDF 599KB]
Draft finding aids of uncatalogued collections are also available. To access a draft finding aid email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rare books and Special Collections that have been catalogued can be found on the Library Services catalogue. Any item with the location "Closed Access Store" can be viewed by appointment at the Archive Reading Room.
This University archives chart the history and development of Queen Mary, and include the records of Queen Mary College, which originated with the establishment of the People’s Palace in 1887, and Westfield College, which opened in 1882 as a pioneering higher education College for women. The collections tell the personal stories of former staff and students, and provide a fascinating insight into the history of women in higher education and the social history of East London, from the Victorian period to the present day. The main elements of the collections can be viewed via the archives catalogue as follows:
- Queen Mary University of London sequence 1989–present
- Queen Mary College sequence 1887–1989
- Westfield College sequence 1882–1989
For more information on the contribution of women to the history of the College see the Women At Queen Mary Online Exhibition.
Private Papers and Organisations Archives
Arts, humanities and social sciences collections
The personal papers of former lecturers of the College provide evidence of teaching and research.
- Bindoff, Stanley Thomas (1908–1980), first professor of history
- Deyermond, Alan (1932-2009), professor of medieval hispanic literature
- Hennessy, Peter (b.1947), journalist and professor of contemporary history
- Isaacs, Jacob (1896–1973), professor of English
- Jenkins, Harold (1909–2000), literary scholar, English lecturer
- Leslie, Robert Frank(fl.1918–1994), professor of history
- Maynard, Constance (1849–1935), mistress of Westfield College, theologian
- Schmitthoff, Clive Macmillan (1903–1990), law lecturer
- Skeel, Caroline (1872–1951), Classicist, professor of history
The papers of other individuals and records of organisations represent primary sources for the study of subjects in the arts, humanities and social sciences.
- Benson, Stella (1892–1933), novelist, feminist, writer
- Carlton, Ann (fl. 1965–2004), Labour Party activist
- Chesworth, Donald Piers (1923–1991), politician, administrator
- East London Papers: administrative papers, and journal of history, social studies and the arts
- Fowler, Rachel Elfreda (fl. 1872-1927), art historian
- Haydon, Benjamin Robert (1786–1846), painter
- LIBRIS, independent publishers, specialising in German literature: correspondence 1986-2014
- Lyttelton, General Sir Neville Gerald (1845–1931), army officer
- Martin, John (1789–1854), painter
- Maynard, Constance (1849–1935), writer
- National Union of Tailors and Garment Workers: records c.1889–1989
- Palmer, Samuel (1805–1881), painter
- People's Palace Projects: records 2008-
- Smetham, James (1821–1889), painter
- Skeel family, merchants and apothecaries: family papers 1785–1928
- Temple, William (1881–1944), archbishop of Canterbury
- Wakefield, Edward Gibbon (1796–1862), colonial statesman
- Wyld, Professor Henry Cecil Kennedy (1870–1945), professor of English
Science and Engineering Collections
Personal papers of former lecturers and students of the College provide evidence of science and engineering teaching and research.
- Brooke, Eileen (d.1989), mathematician
- Delf Smith, Ellen (1883–1980), botantist
- Garwood, Robert Francis (1914–1984), chemistry lecturer
- Jones, Gwyn Owain (fl. 1949), professor and head of the department of physics
- MacGregor-Morris, John Turner (1872–1959), professor of electrical engineering
Leo Baeck Institute London Library, including the Pamphlet Collection
For information about what is contained in this collection please see the dedicated page on Leo Baeck Institute London's website.
This collection is fully listed and awaiting final arrangement. To access a draft catalogue please email us email@example.com.
Online access to digital versions of records held by the Archives are available through our Digitised Records page. This includes:
- The Westfield College Print Collection comprising rare prints of lithographs, mezzotints, copper plate engravings and sketches of artwork and posters dating from 17th century to the 1960s.
- Constance Maynard's writings, 'Green Book Diaries' and Autobiography.
- The Palace Journal, the newsletters of The People's Palace 1887-1894.
- The Women At Queen Mary Online Exhibition.
For further information about our collections or to make a research enquiry contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Printable leaflets about the archives can be downloaded here: