Library Services


UCL College Archives

UCL's own institutional records are located mainly in the UCL Records Office and Library Special Collections, while some are held within departments themselves.

Main archival series include:

  • Minutes of the Council and various UCL committees, 1826 to date
  • Committee papers, 1836 to 1918
  • UCL Correspondence, 1825 to 1906
  • Student Registers, 1828 to 1907
  • Professor's fees books, 1833 to 1901
  • Financial records, 1828 to 1939
  • Applications for Professorships, 1827 to 1920
  • Archives of University College Hospital and Medical School
  • Records of University College School, 1830 to 1907
  • Records of UCL Student societies and Students Union

Printed matter comprises Annual Reports, UCL Calenders, histories, biographies, prospectuses, student journals and other college publications. Illustrative and audio-visual material includes photographs, portraits, newscuttings, ephemera and film footage.

Several collections of professoral papers, other UCL-related manuscript material, which complement and enhance the administrative archives, are held separately.

Library Special Collections

Historical context

The Library was opened in 1829. Manuscripts covering a whole range of subjects have been acquired by gift, bequest and sometimes purchase throughout the colleges 170 year-old history. Jeremy Bentham's own papers came to the college in 1849 - major interests have always centred on the papers of the University's founders and their milieu, benefactors and former professors, while archival material relevant to the history of the College and of higher education in general has been transferred on a regular if not too organised basis since its foundation. This latter group is known collectively as the UCL Archives. The UCL website provides further information on the college's history.

Nature of holdings

Many of the series from the UCL's archive group used in the centenary of UCL (University College London 1826-1926 by H. Hale Bellot. 1929) suffered during enemy action in World War II, and its aftermath of fire and flood, so few are complete, but much new material has also come to light. One of the most significant surviving series consists of letters to and from UCL between 1825 and 1840, charting early struggles and development, while the Appendix to Minutes series forms an important backdrop to the Council's officially minuted deliberations held in the Records Office. The growing relationship between the administration and academic staff, the activities of the students, and the research and development of faculties, departments and their subjects are recorded in the Library's holdings, while those of individual departments, for example, the Slade School focus directly on day-to-day operations and academic achievements.

A card index is available in the Special Collections reading room.