UCL Special Collections supports academic teaching and research in a wide range of subject areas.
Whether you are studying, teaching or researching, our collections can be used as evidence to enrich student essays, as inspiration for developing research projects, or as a rich source for ground-breaking publications and new ideas.
If you are new to using rare books, archives and records for university learning and research, we can help - just get in touch to find out how.
Book UCL Special Collections for your teaching or event
We work with researchers from UCL and beyond to support research projects based on our collections.Projects we have been involved in range from the ESRC-funded ‘Discourses of Voluntary Action at two 'Transformational Moments' of the Welfare State, the 1940s and 2010s’ to digital imaging projects in collaboration with the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities and the UCL Leverhulme-funded project ‘Bloomsbury and Reform in the Nineteenth Century’.
We also run an annual Visiting Research Fellowship scheme.
To discuss potential research projects using our collections, including support for funding bids and grant applications, please email UCL Special Collections.
Our programme of support for academic teaching is available across the UCL curriculum, reaching over 1,000 university students in over 50 classes each academic year. We offer teaching and support for taught students (primarily at UCL), research students and teaching staff.
Sessions can be delivered face-to-face or online, either live or by providing online resources in advance. Our visualisers enable us to show collection items live online. UCL students and staff also benefit from resources on our Special Collections Moodle site, including training videos on handling and on using our catalogues.
- Single classes within a taught module
- Whole taught modules when sufficient resources are available
- Advice on selection of suitable items
- Development of new modules that use our collections
Teaching and preparation for classes can be done by academic tutors or by our staff, or by both in collaboration. A member of our staff will always need to be present to supervise our material.
To talk about developing a new teaching session, contact Tabitha Tuckett (Rare-Books Librarian; Academic Support And Events).
To book a teaching session repeated from previous years, complete an online booking form.
- Student Projects and Connected Curriculum
Special Collections actively supports research-based learning for students on taught courses at UCL, following UCL’s innovative Connected Curriculum. Examples of this work include:
- Planning online exhibitions (Arts and Sciences BASc degree)
- Transcribing manuscripts (Palaeography MA)
- Translating archive documents (Languages BA)
- Preparing modern editions (Publishing MA)
- Presenting at public events (Fine Art BA)
We can work with module leaders to help identify suitable material, develop project ideas, provide training in using the collections, and timetable staff availability.
Our Rare-Books Librarian; Academic Support And Events has experience as a Connected Curriculum Fellow: get in touch to discuss student projects.
Let us know if you would like to discuss using UCL Special Collections for your dissertation.
- Academic and Public Events
We support and run a busy programme of academic and public events, both face-to-face and online. Our visualisers enable us to show collection items live online: see our YouTube channel for examples. To discuss how we can support your conference or event, or discuss presenting at our events, please contact Tabitha Tuckett.
Learn more about UCL Special Collections' programme of events and exhibitions.
Book support for your event