Special Collections & Archives Resources

United Kingdom

The archives and special collections of the Albert Sloman Library encompass a wide range of material, and further information is available on the University of Essex Library special collections webpage.

For printed information on the archival collections of other UK libraries consult:

British archives / Janet Foster. 4th ed. 2002. (Ref. Floor 2 - CD 1040) 

A directory of rare book and special collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland / edited by Karen Attar. 3rd ed. 2016 (Floor 5 - Z 791.D5)

You may also find the library web page on using Other Libraries useful for details of access policies and catalogues

Aside from the collections of Oxford, Cambridge and other ancient universities, there are excellent sources for the social scientist at LSE
Library collections and archives, Sussex University - Mass Observation Archive, and Warwick University Modern Records Centre


Archives Hub

Detailed information about archive collections nationally


Covers the London area.

British Library Archives & Manuscripts

Extensive holdings of the UK's national library, including the Sound Archive

Manuscripts Online

Portal to information about manuscripts, rare books and documents held in UK archives and libraries 1000-1500

National Archives

The UK body entrusted with preserving the official archives of the country. It also maintains Discovery - which is the national register of archives (details of collections in the National Archives and 2500 archives around the country), and includes Find an archive (listing of UK archives, plus links to archives around the world).

UK Government Web Archive

Maintained by the National Archives, preserving websites from 1996 onwards

UK Web Archive

Project coordinated by the BL to archive websites (from 2004 to current). See new Beta Website


Archives Portal Europe

An EU sponsored project to facilitate access to information about archives in Europe.

CERL Portal [to] Manuscripts and Early Printed Material

Maintained by the Consortium of European Research Libraries



Database of archives and manuscript collections in French universities and research institutions



Comprehensive listing by the Dutch archives service of national archives worldwide. The UK National Archives offers a similar listing

Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format. Its Wayback Machine has also archived billions of webpages dating from 1996 to current

United States


Database of descriptions of archive collections worldwide (concentrating on North America initially), created by the Research Libraries Group.

Archives Wiki

Maintained by the American Historical Association. Also has links to archives around the world

National Archives

The official US repository


The University of Essex
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