Special Collections


The Special Collections Room in the Albert Sloman Library currently holds some 60 named collections of books, manuscripts and contemporary archives, together with a general sequence which is arranged by subject. In all, holdings amount to over 34,200 printed works and 547 m. of archives and "grey literature", most of which has been acquired by way of donation or through grant-aided purchase. The following notes provide a short description of the collections. For book collections, or books within a collection, an asterisk indicates that the titles are listed in the Library's catalogue. For archives and manuscripts, separate hand lists have been prepared for most collections. Most of these are currently being made available from this web page and can be accessed by clicking on the title of the particular collection. For further information, or to arrange a visit, please contact Nigel Cochrane: nigelc@essex.ac.uk) or Sandy Macmillen amacmi@essex.ac.uk.

* an asterisk indicates that the titles are listed in the Library's catalogue

# a hash indicates that collections are held in the Special Collections reserve

For information about other archives & special collections in the UK and overseas please see the Archives web page

General Collection *

This sequence of over 2,500 books, assembled for their rarity or value, includes 40 STC, 45 Wing and 184 ESTC items. Of particular note is the series of Latin American codices in facsimile.

Named Collections

Margery Allingham/Philip Youngman Carter Collection *

This archive, relating to the life and work of the eminent crime writer Margery Allingham and her husband Philip Youngman Carter, has been placed on permanent deposit in the Library by the Margery Allingham Society. Born in Ealing in 1904, Margery Allingham grew up in Layer Breton, was educated in Colchester and Cambridge, and lived most of her adult life in Tolleshunt D’Arcy. She wrote her first novel at 19, and in 1929 (in the novel The Crime at Black Dudley) introduced one of the most famous characters in detective fiction, Albert Campion. From the 1930s to the 1960s Margery Allingham became, along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers and Ngaio Marsh, one of the most distinguished writers of detective fiction’s “Golden Age”, publishing a steady stream of Campion novels, many with an East Anglian setting. She died in Colchester in 1966.

The collection consists of some 23 metres of archival material and artwork, and around 200 copies of various editions of Margery Allingham’s works. In addition to original manuscripts copies of most of Allingham’s books and stories, correspondence and administrative papers, the collection also includes a large number of paintings and drawings by Youngman Carter, one time editor of The Tatler, who designed the dust-jackets for many of his wife’s books. It is hoped that this large and very significant collection will be available for consultation in 2007.

More information

Alport Papers

This collection includes the political and personal papers of Lord Alport, M.P. for Colchester division of Essex (1950-61); Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Commonwealth Relations Office, 1957-1959; Minister of State, Commonwealth Relations Office, 1959-1961; British High Commissioner in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1961-63; a Deputy Speaker, House of Lords, 1971-82, 1983-94; Adviser to the Home Secretary, 1974-82; High Steward of Colchester, 1967-. Of particular note are his papers concerning the 'One Nation' group (1951-56) and correspondence and papers as Special Representative to Rhodesia, June-July 1967.

More information

J.A. Baker

This archive relates to  the life and work of the Essex nature writer, J.A. Baker, 1926-87, author of the critically acclaimed The Peregrine (1967). The collection was gifted to the Library in 2013 through the good offices of Dr John Fanshawe, who, with the author, Mark Cocker, edited the complete works of Baker for publication by HarperCollins in 2011. The bulk of the archive, which comprises notebooks, diaries, draft manuscripts, maps, photographs, letters and optical artefacts, was brought together by Bernard Coe, Baker’s brother-in-law. Additional materials have been generously donated by David Cobham, John Thurmer, and Don Samuel. A detailed catalogue completed in 2016 by Hetty Saunders is available below. Anyone with further information, including personal memories, relevant to Baker, are encouraged to contact the library.

More information

Balint Papers

The papers, which occupy 48 box files, are chiefly concerned with the professional life of the psychoanalyst Enid Balint, although much material also relates to the work of her husband Michael Balint, disciple of Sandor Ferenczi, one of the fathers of modern psychoanalysis. The collection comprises professional correspondence, drafts and typescripts of books and papers, as well as Balint Society minutes and papers. Of particular interest are typescripts of the Freud - Ferenczi letters, 1908-1933, recently edited for publication by Brabant, Falzeder and Giampieri-Deutsch.

More information

Russell Barton Archive

This single box collection, which came to the Library through the good offices of Dr Diana Gittins and Professor Joan Busfield, concentrates on the work of the prominent psychiatrist Dr Russell Barton, Physician Superintendent at Severalls Hospital, Colchester, 1960-1971. Dr Barton was an important pioneer of deinstitutionalisation and community care for the mentally ill, and this collection encompasses professional writings, pamphlets and brochures, press cuttings, correspondence and notes, as well as reports – particularly relating to Severalls Hospital. As the collection contains materials of a potentially sensitive nature, researchers are required to provide a guarantee of patient confidentiality

Bassingbourn Parish Library *

Purchased jointly by the Universities of Cambridge and Essex in 1969, this collection consists of nearly 400 titles mainly theological in character. It includes 19 sixteenth-century titles, and 253 seventeenth-century titles.

Bean Memorial Collection  *

This collection, which was presented by the late Mrs. M. Bean of Sudbury in 1975, is devoted to William Blake. The greater part consists of the series of illuminated books and other works by Blake that were published by the Trianon Press, Clairvaux. The collection is supplemented by over 300 works about William Blake, many of which were donated by Mrs. Bean, and is maintained by the addition of current acquisitions.

Hervey Benham Sound Archive

Comprising approximately 1400 tape cassettes, the Hervey Benham Sound Archive is a rich source for local history research, covering many aspects of Colchester and Essex life. As well as "whole life" interviews there are themed series on topics such as agriculture, the Colchester & East Essex Cooperative Society, and World War II. Transcript summaries exist for some recordings. This growing collection was put on permanent deposit by the Colchester Recalled Oral History Group in 1999.

Bensusan Collection

Samuel Levi Bensusan (1872-1958) was a well known local author who produced a series of stories of Essex life that make him one of the leading county writers. The collection, acquired in 1966, includes an almost complete set of Bensusan's published works, his diaries for the years 1891 to 1957, typescript files of published and unpublished works, and four files of miscellaneous documents and correspondence.

More information

Geoffrey Bone Papers #

This collection of papers was donated in 1999 and 2002 by Geoffrey Bone, an honorary graduate of the University (1991) and member of the University Council, 1965-1990. After graduating from Cambridge Mr Bone started his engineering career with Rolls Royce. In 1941 he was commissioned in the technical branch of the RAF where he worked with Sir Frank Whittle as development engineer on the design of the jet engine. The collection includes technical papers relating to the design of the jet engine, postwar correspondence with Sir Frank Whittle, press cuttings, and the transcript of an interview with Sir Frank Whittle in 1994. Geoffrey Bone's autobiography Reminiscences of an East Anglian engineer, 1996, is held in Special Collections.

Boundary Commission for England Papers (1992-1993) #

In May 1995 copies of the transcripts of public enquiries and Assistant Commissioners' reports relating to the boundaries of parliamentary constituencies were received by the Albert Sloman Library. More recently, the collection has been supplemented by copies of representations and documentation submitted at the public enquiries, together with minutes of Boundary Commission meetings, May 1988-February 1995. In all, the collection consists of 86 boxes of papers. A preliminary list has been prepared.

More information

K.F.Bowden Archive #

This collection consists of papers and correspondence relating to research projects of the University concerning the computerisation of medical records. Professor Keith Bowden (1935-1982) was Professor of Computer Science at the University and between 1967 and 1973 pioneered research in the use of computers for information handling in respect of health care.

A catalogue for this collection of papers and correspondence has been prepared by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre and is available on request within the Library.

Lord Brimelow Papers

Papers of the late Thomas Brimelow (Ambassador, Poland 1966-69; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office 1969-73; Permanent Under-Secretary of State, Foreign Office & Head of Diplomatic Service 1973-75). The papers include lecture notes, correspondence and newspaper cutting relating to the Cold War during the period 1956-1988, together with material concerning repatriation and the Yalta Repatriation Agreement, and the obligation to carry out an agreement. The collection includes typescript drafts (incomplete) of a text in preparation, 'The Yalta Repatriation Agreements', with photocopies of associated Foreign Office and War Office papers dating from 1944-1947.

More information

Charter 88 Archive #

Having its origins in a letter published in the New Statesman in 1988, Charter 88 is a non-party organisation which argues for increased democracy and freedom, as well as civil, political and human rights, through constitutional and electoral reform in the UK. Occupying some 22 metres of shelving, the archives encompass committee papers and minutes, publications, conference proceedings, correspondence, press cuttings, audio/video tapes, as well as lists of Charter signatories.

More information

Colchester Medical Society Library

This collection comprises approximately 500 historical books placed on permanent deposit by the Society in April 2008. The books, colloquially known as the Penfold Collection, were previously housed at Essex County Hospital and at the Postgraduate Medical Centre at Colchester General Hospital. The volumes include early treatises on surgery, anatomy, illness and disease, and are likely to be of major interest to scholars of both the history and sociology of medicine. The collection has been catalogued, and individual works are searchable in the Library catalogue. In addition, the following Minute books and other manuscript volumes were deposited by the Society in August 2012. In 2014 documents relating to Colchester General Hospital were similarly acquired.

List of books (Excel file)

Colchester Medical Society website

Colchester's Caring Past website

Crewe Elections Archive #

A small collection of material relating to UK general elections in the late 20th century (1979-1992), chiefly BBC Election Survey poll data and Harris Research Centre opinion polls, together with various press cuttings, newspaper opinion polls, and pieces of electoral analysis. Contents: Box 1, 1979-1983; Box 2: 1983-1987; Box 3: 1987; Box 4: 1992.

Leonore Davidoff Collection

This collection comprises 70 rare and specialist volumes, mainly dating from the 19th century, amassed by the eminent historian and sociologist Leonore Davidoff (1932-2014) in the course of her research into women’s and family lives. Professor Davidoff, who was associated with the University’s Department of Sociology from 1969, was a generous donor to the Library during her lifetime. The books in this significant niche collection – which encompass children’s literature, women’s fiction, polite literature, women’s conduct books, and volumes on domestic manners and morals – were donated to the Library by her family in May 2015. The books are currently being catalogued and will be kept together as a unit in Special Collections.

Donald Davie Archive

A collection of note-books, work-sheets and letters deposited in 1968 by the poet Donald Davie (Professor of Literature, University of Essex, 1964-68). The collection was augmented in 1976 by the purchase of a collection of Davie papers, for which the Library received a grant from the Arts Council.

More information

Ellis East European Elections Collection #

This collection was presented in October 2002 by Mr. Andrew Ellis, OBE, technical adviser on international democracy and governance issues, and Coordinator of the OSCE Observation Mission for Registration of Voters in Bosnia and Hercegovina in 1997. It comprises posters, leaflets, stickers, flags and other ephemera relating to the first democratic elections in Eastern Europe in the 1990s, along with a substantial number of contemporary newspapers reporting on these landmark events. The majority of the collection has been sorted and arranged by country/region. An outline list of this collection is available from Archives Hub.

Essex Society for Archaeology & History Library  *

The largest collection to come into the Albert Sloman Library to date, it was placed on permanent deposit in 2000, and continues to be augmented with regular additions by the Society. The library comprises some 15,000 volumes acquired over the last 150 years or so, with particularly fine coverage of archaeology, antiquities, ancient and modern history (notably local history), and related subjects. It includes several hundred periodicals and newsletters, many received from similar county societies, and the current runs continue to be maintained. The Society's collection of rare books has also been transferred to the Library. This is comprised of some 600 volumes, including some Civil War tracts. Primarily a resource for members of the Society, its use by other bona-fide researchers for reference is permissible on request.

Essex Society for Family History Collection

Since 1977 the ESFH has deposited in the Library various family history periodicals, most of which are shelved in store at classmark CS 1. In addition, the Society has deposited transcripts of Essex Parish Registers and lists of Monumental Inscriptions in Essex Churches, which are kept as a special collection.

Sir Vincent Evans Collection #

This is a collection of the personal case files of Sir Vincent Evans from his time as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights, 1980-1991, and as a member of the Human Rights Committee set up under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 1977-1984. The 54 box files contain handwritten notes, background documentation (including applicants' memorials and records of hearings), news cuttings and miscellaneous reports. An index for this collection of personal case files has been prepared by the Human Rights Centre at the University of Essex, and is available on request within the Library.

More information

 S.E. Finer Papers #

Working papers of the late Professor S.E. Finer when Professor of Political Institutions, University of Keele, 1950-66. The papers are concerned with transport policy in the UK, 1945- c. 1955 and include press cuttings, extracts from transport journals, notebooks, correspondence with transport user groups and trade unions, notes on transport legislation and drafts of various chapters of an unpublished work on transport policy. The collection also includes some 160 items of "grey literature" relating to transport policy and the T.U.C.

More information

Sigmund Freud Collection  *

This collection is on permanent loan to the Library by generous agreement of Mark Paterson Associates and the Freud Beneficiaries. The collection comprises some 2,000 volumes, 4,500 photocopies of letters, 2,500 typescripts of letters and 2,700 original letters (including 39 in the hand of Sigmund Freud). A searchable inventory of the correspondence in the archive is available from the PC in the Special Collections reading room on the first floor of the Library.

 Gaudier-Brzeska Collection

Henri Gaudier (1891-1915) was an eminent sculptor and draughtsman, influenced by Cubism and primitive art. In 1910 he met Sophie Brzeska in Paris, and came with her to London in 1911 using the joint name of Gaudier-Brzeska. The nucleus of this archive is 34 letters which, with one exception, are from Henri to Sophie Gaudier-Brzeska. The letters cover the period 12 July 1910 to 10 October 1913 and have been published, in part, in H.S. Ede's Savage Messiah, 1931. The bulk of the material consists of Sophie's diaries and her unpublished creative writings. The collection was donated in 1964 by Mr. H.S. Ede.

More information

Glassborow Rail Transport Collection #

Donated to the Library in 1997 by Mr. P.W. Glassborow of Bury St. Edmunds, this collection comprises of some 250 items of "grey literature" relating to rail travel and commuting into London in the 1960s and early 1970s. In addition to published reports, the collection includes typescripts of transport surveys carried out at that time.

Amy Zahl Gottlieb Collection  *

Amy Zahl Gottlieb worked from 1944 to 1952 for the Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF), then went to America to take up a post at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign where she started a programme in holocaust education, and returned to Britain in the late 1980s to act as the CBF’s honorary historian and archivist. She donated her personal library, and some 46 reels of microfilm, reproducing the Archives of the Central British Fund and the text of the Jewish Chronicle from 1937 to 1939, to the Library in 2002. The collection contains approximately 200 books relating to the Holocaust, Jewish history, and Anti-Semitism. It also contains books on a range of historic topics, including several works on American immigration.

Georg Groddeck Archive of Oscar Köllerström

This collection comprises some 50 books and journal articles published by the German psychoanalyst Georg Groddeck (1866-1934). The collection also includes 30 letters from Georg Groddeck to Oscar Köllerström (a pupil of Groddeck), Mary Collins (a translator of Groddeck's works), and Groddeck's sister. In addition, the collection includes an almost complete run of Die Arche (1925-1927), translations (in typescript) of 'Conference psychoanalytiques à l'usage des malades and Der Seelensucher : ein psychoanalytischer Roman', and 27 photographs and sketches of George Groddeck. 

More information

 Michel Haar Archive#

The Archive consists of nine boxes containing the writings, notes and correspondence of Michel Haar, 1937-2003, Professor of Philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris. Haar was an internationally renowned scholar of phenomenology who wrote extensively on both Heidegger and Nietzsche. His papers came to the Library in August 2005 through the good offices of Dr Beatrice Han-Pile. The catalogue to the Archive was compiled by Dr Adrian Samuel.

More information

Nicholas Hagger Archive#

This large collection is devoted to the life and work of the Essex author and educationalist, Nicholas Hagger, 1939-. The Archive, which was placed on permanent deposit in March 2016, is composed of several distinct sections. The first tranche of boxes (which comprises the initial 2016 deposit) covers Mr Hagger’s literary and poetic writings, as well as his works on history and philosophy. Future boxes will contain papers of a personal/biographical nature.  For further information on Nicholas Hagger, please go to www.nicholashagger.com

More information: Catalogue and Overview and selection of digitised manuscripts

Bernie Hamilton Archive

In 2007 the Library acquired the books and papers of the renowned human rights scholar and activist Bernie Hamilton (1945-2005) from his widow Dr Mirilee Pearl. Bernie Hamilton, who taught at universities in both the UK and the US, is perhaps best known for his work with organisations such as Doctors for Human Rights (DHR), Minority Rights Group International (MRG) and the Leo Kuper Foundation, a body dedicated to the eradication of genocide worldwide. The Archive comprises some 14 metres of specialist documents, papers and reports, which are currently housed in the Library’s Special Collections, and a substantial number of books on law, human rights and politics which have been integrated into the Library’s main collection of printed works. The archive is classified according to the following classification scheme (please note: the archive does not hold in depth material on all subjects outlined in this document): http://libwww.essex.ac.uk/Archives/BernieHamilton.pdf

Angela Harris /James Strachey Collection

This collection was purchased by the Library from Mark Paterson & Associates. It comprises proof copies of 'The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud' and 'The Pelican Freud Library', together with related correspondence and notes.

Harsnett Collection

This collection consists of some 900 books comprising the personal library of Samuel Harsnett, 1561-1631, Archbishop of York, 1629-1631. Many of the books are polemical treatises relating to contemporary controversies between the Churches of England and Rome, as well as works on theological subjects published throughout Europe in the fifteenth, sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. The collection contains several incunabula as well as one book from the library of King Henry VIII.

John Hassall Collection  *

John Hassall (1868-1949) was popularly described in his day as the 'king of poster artists'. The collection consists of a series of diaries from 1894-1948, family and official correspondence and photographs, and a substantial collection of Hassall's printed works. Of particular interest is the ledger in which he recorded all of his commissions. There is very little original artwork. The collection contains many references to this part of Essex, with which the family had close connections. The original gift was made in 1966 through Mrs. D.M. Dobereiner, one of Hassall's daughters.

More information

Lord Hill of Wivenhoe Papers #

The principal part of this collection consists of ephemeral pamphlets which are of particular interest to the study of labour history and the growth of the Unions. (Lord Hill was a member of the General Council, Trades Union Congress, 1948-65 and Chairman of the T.U.C. in 1961). Most of the pamphlets were obtained by Lord Hill during the course of his working life. There is a large file of newspaper cuttings relating to all periods of Lord Hill's life and activities, together with some of his personal and official correspondence. The collection was presented to the University in 1970 by Lady Hill.

David Holt Collection

This collection of books relating to analytical psychology was previously owned by the Jungian scholar David Holt (1926-2002) and was donated to the Library by his widow, Edith Holt, in summer 2007. In addition to specific works on Jungian analysis, the collection includes titles in allied disciplines such as philosophy, religion, mythology and literature. Of particular interest is the fact that many of the books include annotations made by David Holt.

Roger Howard Collection

This collection, which is comprised of four archive boxes, was donated to the Library by the playwright and academic, Roger Howard, who was a lecturer in the Department of Literature, University of Essex, 1979-2003. The collection is primarily concerned with his involvement in the Theatre Underground and the Essex University Theatre Writer’s Residency. In addition to working scripts, the collection contains programmes, brochures, as well as a complete list of productions and writers, 1979-2002, and two copies of Contradictory theatres: the Theatre Underground and the Essex University new plays scheme…, edited by Leslie Bell (Theatre Action Press, 1984)

Human Rights Centre (Right to Health Unit Archive)

In 2002, Professor Paul Hunt (Department of Law/Human Rights Centre) was appointed to the post of United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health ("right to health" or "right to the highest attainable standard of health"). This Archive contains documents on the work that Professor Hunt has carried out in his capacity as Special Rapporteur (Aug 2002-July 2008), as well as the work of other staff at the Right to Health Unit, Human Rights Centre, working in support of the mandate. The collection comprises of monographs that will be added to the main collection and a number of boxes of papers, reports and specialist documents covering areas such as: essential medicines; undocumented migrants/asylum seekers; right to water; right to food and housing; environmental health; human rights and health in India; documents on the situation in Darfur; impact assessments; indicators; participation and accountability; guidelines and more.

See also: Human Rights Centre: Right to Health Unit webpage.

 David Kerr Papers #

This collection consists of publications and correspondence of Dr David Leigh Kerr, M.P. (Labour) Wandsworth Central, 1964 - 70 and Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, 1967 - 69. In addition to the papers of various societies and organisations with which Dr Kerr was associated, for example the Socialist Medical Association, the collection also includes a large number of transcripts of health education talks which he gave on commercial radio between 1965 and 1966.

More information

 T.E. Lawrence Letters

Forty four letters of T.E. Lawrence to H.S. Ede, written between 16 June 1927 and 5 April 1935. The letters were published in 1942 as Shaw-Ede; T.E. Lawrence's letters to H.S. Ede, 1927-1935. The letters were donated by H.S. Ede in 1964.

More information

Levene/Sky Television Political Interviews Video Archive

This collection of VHS videotapes, presented to the Library in February 1996 by Mr. Martin Levene, producer Sky News, 1989-1992, consists of recordings of the first 354 'Target' programmes, hosted by Austin Mitchell, MP, and Norman Tebbit, MP (later Lord Tebbit), during the period 1989-1992. The archive also contains recordings of 60 editions of 'The Editors' programme and 6 programmes from the 'Challenge' (religious affairs) series. 

More information

George Mayer-Marton Collection

This small collection of books represents those titles from the library of the late George Mayer Marton (Senior Lecturer in the History of Art, University of Liverpool, 1950-1960) not otherwise represented on the shelves of the Albert Sloman Library. Hungarian born Mayer-Marton, 1897-1960, was a major figure in the artistic world of pre-war Vienna. In 1938 he arrived in England as a penniless refugee, and two years later had most of his paintings – which represented his life’s work – destroyed in the London Blitz. He did not paint again until 1948, but managed to build a considerable reputation as a mosaicist in the immediate post-war years. One of his finest mosaics is now housed in Liverpool’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

 Arnold Miller Collection #

This collection is comprised of the professional papers, correspondence and draft publications of Arnold V. Miller, one of the first and most important translators of the works of the philosopher Hegel into the English language. The collection also contains writings by the Czech philosopher and scholar Francis Sedlak, a prominent Hegelian and long-time associate of Miller.

Juliet Mitchell Archive  *

This collection of papers and allied books relate to the life and work of Professor Juliet Mitchell (born 1940), the prominent New Zealand-born psychoanalyst, socialist feminist and pioneer of gender studies. The collection, which was placed on permanent deposit by Professor Mitchell in 2011, is currently being catalogued and listed. It is hoped that the Archive will be available for consultation in September 2014.

National Social Policy and Social Change Archive (NSPSCA) (Qualidata)

The National Social Policy and Social Change Archive, was set up in October 1996 by Qualidata with support from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the University of Essex. The collection includes a range of well-know pioneering classic studies from the social sciences including works by Peter Townsend; Ray Pahl; Jan Pahl's study on marital violence; and Annette Lawson's study on adultery.

More information

Archives of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association (NVALA) #

The NVALA archives covers the period 1964 to 1991 and consist of 144 boxes of NVALA publications and committee papers, television monitoring reports and surveys, correspondence of Mary Whitehouse with the BBC and IBA, publications of Mary Whitehouse, files relating to specific films and television programmes, newspaper cuttings, and correspondence of the NVALA secretary. A preliminary set of lists has been prepared for consultation in the Library. Access to committee papers and financial reports is restricted but access to correspondence, files on individual films/programmes, press cuttings, etc. is unhindered.

More information

Hermione Harris Nicaraguan Collection #

Three boxes of grey literature and personal papers relating to the first Sandinista government of Nicaragua (1979-1990). Donated by Hermione Harris in 2007.

Nolan Committee Papers #

The establishment of the Committee on Standards of Conduct in Public Life was announced by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on 25 October 1994. The Committee’s terms of reference included the examination of concerns at that time about standards of conduct of holders of public office, civil servants and National Health Service bodies. The Committee was chaired by Lord Nolan of Brasted (1994 – 97) and Lord Neill of Bladen (1997 – 2001). The collection includes evidence to the Committee (for the First Report), video tapes of meetings held in 1995, press cuttings, and transcripts of speeches given by Lord Nolan on public life, governance and the executive.

More information

 Douglas Oliver Archive #

This collection comprises the notebooks, typescripts, research material, corrrespondence and printed works of the poet, novelist, academic, journalist and translator, Douglas Oliver (1937-2000), who was associated with the University in the 1970s, first as a mature student, and later as a lecturer in the Literature Department. The archive, which has been placed on permanent deposit with the Library by his widow, Alice Notley, has been augmented by additional material acquired by means of purchase.

More information

 Pattle Family Collection #

Donated by Mrs. Jean Pattle in July 2004, the Collection comprises 24 books all written by or about members of the Pattle family from Suffolk, which includes among its ranks the writer Virginia Woolf and the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. Also included in the Collection are a photocopied typescript by Elizabeth Boyd entitled The Chevalier de L’Etang and three family trees detailing the genealogical history of various branches of the family.

Lionel Penrose papers #

Donated by Dr W. R. McKibben in 2003, the main part of the collection is composed of a bound volume containing off prints of 49 articles written by Penrose during his time as Research Medical Officer at the Royal Eastern Counties' Institution, Colchester, in the 1930s. A physician and geneticist, Lionel Sharples Penrose, 1898-1972, carried out pioneering and influential work in the fields of schizophrenia, Down's syndrome and mental retardation, and was later professor of eugenics at London University. In addition to the articles written by Penrose, the collection also contains several legal documents and two short histories of the Royal Eastern Counties' Institution/Essex Hall.

Irene Pickard Jung Archive

This archive, comprising both manuscript materials and printed books, was placed on permanent deposit with the Library in 2013 by Dr Alison Bush, a Colchester Quaker.  The archive brings together items assembled by her mother, Irene Pickard, over a period of more than 40 years, but concentrate on her time in Geneva in the 1930s, when she was part of a circle of Quakers with connections to the League of Nations. Many of these Quakers, including Irene Pickard, became interested in the work of Carl Gustav Jung, and Jungian scholarship is the main focus of the archive. One notable aspect of the collection are the papers of the Seeker Group/Movement, a collective of non-Quaker Jung enthusiasts. The papers have been listed by local Quaker archivist, Ros Thomas, while the books will eventually be searchable via the Library catalogue.

Tony Rich archive

Donated in 2009 by Dr Tony Rich, Registrar at the University of Essex from 1999 to 2011, the archive consists of 12 boxes of material associated with Dr Rich's 1983 Ph.D. at the University of Manchester, on the development of the Zimbabwe nationalist movement 1963-1980.

[More information]

 Rickword Collection  *

This collection of some 130 books and pamphlets is named after its donor, (John) Edgell Rickword, the poet and literary critic who was born in Colchester in 1898. The main themes of the collection are Irish literature and history, parliamentary and social reform, chartism, and the labour movement. Of particular interest is the collection of volumes and pamphlets by or relating to William Hone, the 19th century bookseller and political satirist.

Lord Rodgers of Quarrybank SDP papers

The correspondence and papers of Bill Rodgers covering the period 1979 (Campaign for Labour Victory)-1987 (Liberal & Social Democrats), together with Tawney Society papers (1985-1987).

More information

Rowhedge Collection

The records of the former Rowhedge Ironworks Company were placed on indefinite deposit with the Library in 1969 by the Essex Record Office. The records cover the period 1904-1964 and represent an almost complete business archive, including over 2,000 major items covering the day-to-day transactions of the shipyard.

More information

Royal Statistical Society Collection  *#

A substantial portion of the library of the Royal Statistical Society, amounting to about 9,000 volumes, was placed on permanent deposit with the Albert Sloman Library in 2000. It consists of back runs of about 30 periodicals, a large book collection, and an important series of tracts - bound volumes of pamphlets on diverse topics. The core of the collection relates to statistics and statistical history, and contains much material of interest in the field of social and economic history, particularly for the 19th and early 20th centuries. The books and periodicals have been catalogued, and the tracts (about 7,500 pamphlets) should be completed in 2012.

Russell Collection  *

A private library from Stubbers, North Ockendon, a country house now demolished. The books are almost all of the 18th or early 19th centuries, and reflect the interests of three or four generations of Essex country gentlefolk. There are practical works of interest to a county squire such as farming, sport, and law, but the best represented fields are history, topography and travel, and literature. The collection also includes family papers and account books which record the household's day-to-day financial transactions.

 Paul Sieghart Memorial Archive *#

This archive consists of 94 boxes of material from the papers of the late Paul Sieghart (1927-1989), law reformer, international arbitrator, writer and past Chairman of Justice (British Section of International Commission of Jurists). The archive includes texts of lectures delivered by Mr. Sieghart, drafts of books and articles, and reviews of his published output. The boxes also contain photocopies of articles from learned journals, press cuttings, and documents and booklets relating to human rights around the world. In 2006 the collection was augmented by approximately 300 French and German volumes on 19th century European history, with particular emphasis on Bismarck and Napoleon.

More Information

Society of Friends Collection  *

This collection consists of the books and manuscripts from the Friends' Meeting House in Colchester and was deposited with the Library in 1978. It includes over 1,000 printed works and nearly 200 bound manuscript Minute and Account books. The Minute books for the Colchester Meetings run from 1667, those for the Coggeshall Meetings from 1695, and those for the Essex Quarterly Meetings from 1711. There are also volumes covering Copford, Kelvedon, Layer Breton, and Manningtree. The collection is particularly valuable for tracing individual Quakers through the various notes of Removals, Condemnations, and Intentions of Marriage. The book Colchester Quakers, by S.H.G. Fitch, classmark BX 7678.C7, is recommended as preliminary reading.

Social Democratic Party (SDP) archives *

The very substantial archives of the SDP were acquired between 1988 and 1994. The collection consists of some 80 m. of SDP committee minutes and papers, administrative records, publications (including policy papers and Council for Social Democracy records), local SDP files, speeches of the 'Gang of Four', a newspaper cuttings collection, and a small number of video-tapes. The archives cover the period 1980-1987. More recently, the papers of Lord Alec McGivan, The Rt. Hon. Robert Maclennan, Sir Ian Wrigglesworth, Lord Rodgers of Quarrybank and Mr Douglas Eden have been acquired.

More information

Spitzer Collection *

The library of the late Paul Spitzer, of Zug, Switzerland, was bequeathed to the University in 1994. The collection consists of some 1,500 volumes, mainly in the fields of modern history and literature.

Ronald Sturt Talking Newspaper Archive

This collection, which extends to some 22 boxes of archival material, is centred around the papers of Ronald Sturt, MBE, founder of the Talking Newspaper Association UK. Ronald Sturt, 1921-2003, onetime head of The Department of Administrative Studies at the College of Librarianship in Aberystwyth and later Chief Librarian and Assistant Provost at the City of London Polytechnic, observed a talking newspaper scheme in operation in Sweden in the 1960s and set up a similar group in Cardiganshire in 1970. This scheme, whereby volunteers recorded the contents of newspapers onto audiotapes for the benefit of the blind and partially sighted, was a great success and soon spread nationwide, leading to the foundation of TNAUK in 1974. In addition to 13 archive boxes containing the administrative records of TNAUK, 1969-2002, the collection also comprises newspaper cuttings, audio/video tapes and TNAUK publications. Two boxes of personal papers relating to the life and work of Ronal Sturt are also retained.

More information

 Archives of the Tawney Society *

The Tawney Society - the "Think tank of the SDP" - placed its archives on indefinite deposit with the Library in 1991. The collection consists of a complete set of Tawney Society publications, and committee papers and minutes.

More information

Papers of the Third London Airport controversy #

Newspaper cuttings, correspondence and papers, 1970-1972, relating to the proposal for a Third London Airport at Foulness Island, Essex. In addition to material originally received from Councillor D.C. Wood and Major General W. Odling, the collection was greatly enhanced in 2014 by papers donated by Mr Patrick Arnold, erstwhile Chairman of the Foulness Island Residents Committee. Mr Arnold’s papers include drawings, submissions to the Roskill Commission, correspondence, posters and the manuscript of an unpublished book.

Paul Townsend Archive

This collection comprises one archive box and is dedicated to the life of Dr Paul Townsend, 1933-2006, lecturer in the Department of Physics, University of Essex, 1965-1988. The box contains a biographical memoir compiled by his widow, Elizabeth Townsend – who donated the collection to the Library in 2016 – along with photographs, personal documents, offprints of scholarly articles, and a copy of his Ph.D. thesis (University of Exeter, 1959). Of particular interest are a Pilots Flying Log Book and other memorabilia (badges, buttons, etc.) from his time in the Royal Air Force, 1952-1954

Lord Thomson of Monifieth Papers

This collection relates to the life and work of George Thomson, Baron Thomson of Monifieth, 1921-2008, Cabinet Minister in the Wilson Government and later European Commissioner and Chairman of the Independent Broadcasting Authority. The archive, which occupies some 15 boxes, contains much on international affairs – particularly in relation to the European Community and Rhodesian Oil Sanctions – as well as files on broadcasting and Lord Thomson’s resignation from the Shadow Cabinet in April 1972.  

More information

 University of Essex collection *  

In addition to the main University committee papers and minutes, this collection includes foundation papers from the earliest days in July 1959. The archive is supplemented by an extensive collection of early photographs, newspaper cuttings and University calendars and prospectuses from the early 1960s. The collection also includes papers, miscellaneous publications and press cuttings relating to the unrest of 1968 and 1973/74.

More information

 Papers and Correspondence of Sir Frederick Warner FRS FREng #

This collection, catalogued by the National Cataloguing Unit for the Archives of Contemporary Scientists, chiefly dates from the late 1960s to the late 1990s and includes biographical material, papers relating to the Scientific Committee on Problems of Environment (SCOPE), including the three SCOPE projects (ENUWAR, RADPATH and RADTEST), material relating to the Royal Society Study Groups on Assessment and Perception of Risk, and lectures, broadcasts, conference papers and correspondence. A printed index (3 volumes) of this collection is available for consultation.

Watergate Collection

Named after the Watergate Investigation of 1974, this collection is an invaluable source of material for the study of the U.S. Administration of that period. The collection includes various series of U.S. official publications, of which the transcripts of the hearings of the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Activity and the hearings before the Committee on the Judiciary are of particular interest. In addition to official publications, the collection includes books and newspaper cuttings relating to Watergate.

Western Madrigal Society archives#

In 1965 the Western Madrigal Society, which was founded in 1840, presented its collection of sheet music to the Library. The collection comprises about one hundred different works, mostly by 16th and 17th century composers.

Windscale Inquiry Papers #

In 2002 Sir Frederick Warner, one of the Inquiry Assessors, donated to the Library a set of papers relating to the 1977 Inquiry into an application by British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. for the siting of a nuclear reactor fuel reprocessing plant at Windscale, Cumbria. The collection, in addition to evidence received from witnesses, includes (in boxes 10, 11, and 12) transcripts of proceedings. The Inquiry was chaired by the Hon. Mr. Justice Parker and his report was published by H.M.S.O. in 1978 (a copy of which is available in the Library at TD 812).

More information

B.B. Zeitlyn Memorial Library *

This major collection of works on psychotherapy and psychoanalysis – which celebrates the life and work of Dr Bernard Zeitlyn, Consultant  in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, 1957-1979 – was placed on permanent deposit with the Albert Sloman in 2009 by Alice Zeitlyn and the B.B. Zeitlyn Psychotherapy Training Fund. The books, which were previously housed in Cambridge, are not held in Special Collections storage, but have been catalogued and distributed throughout the Library’s wider collection. This arrangement makes them readily accessible both to students of psychoanalysis within the University and to trainee psychotherapists in the region; who enjoy borrowing access to the Albert Sloman Library’s entire printed holdings upon recommendation by the Zeitlyn Training Fund.


The Albert Sloman Library
The University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park
+44 (0) 1206 873192

Quick links