UCL News


A special website for UCL Library Special Collections

29 January 2004

UCL's Library Services, together with UCL's Media Resources team, have created an 'internet shop window' onto the cultural treasures housed in UCL's Library Special Collections.

From ‘Gould’s Himalayan Birds’, John Gould, 1831

Created with a £15,000 grant from UCL alumni, staff and friends donating through the UCL Friends Programme, the website illustrates over 500 objects from the collections in18 categories. A pilot project, it aims to raise awareness of the collection's holdings, and also to widen access to researchers from all over the world who make use of the collections.

Mr Simon Brown, Director of Media Resources, managed the project. He said: "We selected a mixture of treasures, including famous items, items from the best-known holdings and the most heavily used resources, UCL-related material, unusual items as well as samples to illustrate the range of unexpected collections held at UCL."

The collections contain material dating from medieval times to the present day, covering a huge range of subject areas. Highlights include the CK Ogden and Graves collections of rare medieval books and manuscripts, rich in science, language and literature, Jeremy Bentham's manuscripts, and the George Orwell Archive, which includes personal documents and photographs.

Mr Brown added: "This project is a template for future work in a major development area. It will ensure that rare and valuable items are safely preserved in digital format for future generations, it will make them easily accessible to interested parties across the globe, and it will act as a pilot for the subsequent digitisation of the many other historical collections held at UCL."

Image from Gould's Himalayan Birds, John Gould, 1831.

To find out more about the project, use the link below.

Link: UCL Library Special Collections