Library Services


Voice and Memory

A guide to assist those looking for the individual voice in archives.

Collage of three black and white images from the Institute of Education archives


Many collections held at the IOE archives contain material that encapsulates the experiences of an individual. Diaries, letters, scrapbooks, even a note on the back of a photograph can communicate thought and feelings in a way that can connect us to another time and place.


For guidance on how to use our dedicated online catalogue to browse and search archives, manuscripts and records see the archives home page.

Archive collections

Papers of Mary Irene Anderson

Papers of a headmistress of the Aburi Girls' Secondary School, Ghana, 1953-1970, including a personal account of Ghana’s efforts to gain independence from the UK. (RefNo: AN)

Records of the British Families Education Service/Service Children's Association (BFES/SCE)

Records of the Association formed by teachers who had taught British service children around the world as part of the BFES/SCE from 1947, including personal recollections of teachers. (RefNo: BFE)

Papers of John Stanley Beaumont Boyce

Papers of the Boyce who was assistant County Education Office (CEO) in Hertfordshire Education Authority; Deputy CEO in West Sussex; Deputy CEO in Lancashire; and CEO of Lancashire. including letters he sent home while stationed in Germany during World War Two and following the armistice. (RefNo: BOY)

Papers of Charles Henry Burden

Papers of a headmaster who toured various schools in Canada and the USA as part of the Mosely commission, 1906-c.1935, including letters he wrote home during his tour. (RefNo: BDN)

Papers of Isabel Fry (FY)

Papers of an educationist and social activist who was the headmistress of two experimental schools, 1878-1958, containing a set of her personal journals and notebooks. (RefNo: FY)

Papers of Amelia Fysh

Papers of the head of Beech Green Nursery School, which pioneered the integration of handicapped children into mainstream schooling, including her teachers’ record book from Beech Green and scrapbooks containing cuttings regarding her career. (RefNo: AF)

Papers of the Hands Family

Papers, 1876-1949, mainly comprising personalia of members of the Hands family who were involved in teaching. (RefNo: WH)

Papers of Nichola Hans

Papers of a Russian educationalist who worked in London from the 1920s, regarding his career, including certificates and letters of reference and appointment. (RefNo: NH)

Papers of Mimi Hatton

Papers of a teacher in Germany with the British Families Education Service (BFES), 1946-1952, including memorabilia and a personal account of her work. (RefNo: MH)

Papers of Ethel Martha Hatchard (1891 - 1951)

Papers which show the career of a woman teacher who combined teaching with family commitments in the first half of the twentieth-century. (RefNo: EH)

Papers of Susan Isaacs (1885 - 1948)

Papers of a psychoanalyst and teacher who headed the experimental Malting House School and was the first head of the Child Development Department at the IOE, including personal accounts of her life by family members. (RefNo: SI)

Papers of Arabella Kurdi

Papers of a School Meals and Domestic Science Organiser from The British Families Education Service (BFES) in post-war Germany, 1947-1951, which include letters to her parents describing her work and experiences in Germany. (RefNo: AK)

Papers of David and Mary Medd

David and Mary Medd worked for Hertfordshire County Council Architect's Department after WW2 and joined the Architects and Building Branch in 1949. They were responsible for designing notable educational buildings and for furniture and equipment design, and were influential in shaping the philosophy of the Architects and Building Branch at the Ministry. The collection holds various personalia including personal notebooks outlining their work and travels, and extensive diaries and sketchbooks by Mary Medd. (RefNo: ME)

Papers of Horace Panting

Papers of an east London science teacher who was interested in school sports, 1912-1980s, including a handwritten diary regarding the evacuation of Holborn Boys’ School to Wiltshire during the Second World War. (RefNo: HP)

Papers of Margaret Helen Read (1889 - 1991)

Papers of an social anthropologist who was the Head of the Department of Education in Tropical Areas at the Institute, 1900-c.1982, including travel notebooks and photograph albums of overseas visits and tours. (RefNo: MR)

Papers of Louis Christain Schiller (1895 - 1976)

Papers of the first Staff Inspector for Primary Education and promoter of progressive ideals and child-centred teaching in primary education, including personalia and notebooks containing drafts of lectures and working notes and rough ideas on education. (RefNo: CS)

Papers of Arthur Raymond Sporne (1890 - 1977)

Audio cassette of an interview of a London school teacher who worked in the first half of the 20th century, regarding his personal educational experiences and teaching career. (RefNo: SP)

Papers of Robin Tanner (1904 - 1989)

Papers of a teacher who was a HM Inspector of Schools in primary education and believed that the study of natural things and the exploration of arts and crafts, music and poetry were essential for the development of teachers and children, 1920s-1988, including cassette recording of a talk on ‘Life in the Tanner Household'. (RefNo: BTA)

Papers of the White Family

This collection comprises the papers of three generations of the White family including the diaries of Louisa White, 1883-1911; Lucy Winifred Nicholls, 1885-1960; and Mary Louisa White, 1905 and 1913, who all worked as teachers. (RefNo: WF)

Papers of Ronald Haig Wilson (1917 - 2005)

Papers of an adult educationalist who worked for the Education Branch in post-war Germany, specializing in adult education, 1945-2005, including transcripts of interviews with Wilson on his experiences in Germany. (RefNo: WIL)