Special Collections

The University of Sussex holds a number of internationally acclaimed archival, manuscript and rare book collections, mostly relating to twentieth-century literary, political and social history. Our Special Collections include the papers of Rudyard Kipling, the New Statesman Archive, a series of collections relating to the Bloomsbury Group, including the Monks House Papers (Virginia Woolf), and over 60 other manuscript collections. The Mass Observation Archive contains the papers of the social research organisation of the 1930s and 40s and continues to collect new material in the present day. We also hold the University’s own archival and administrative records.

Special Collections at The Keep

The Keep archive centreThe Keep Archive centre. Copyright James Pike

Special Collections, including the Mass Observation Archive is now housed at The Keep, a short walk away from the University campus.

The Keep is a world-class centre for archives which houses the University of Sussex Special Collections alongside the East Sussex Record Office (ESRO), the Royal Pavilion & Museums Local History Collections. It is also a centre of excellence for conservation and preservation and represents the new generation of archive buildings in the UK. 

The Keep opened in 2013 and a new website with access to catalogues for all its collections is available on  The Keep's website. You can also register for a Reader's ticket, book a seat and pre-order items to view at The Keep via this website.  Our catalogues are also still available for browsing via the search box below.

Search the catalogue

Search the Special Collections Collections at The Keep

Access the Special Collections Catalogue at the Keep

Find out what happens when you order a document at The Keep

A researcher's perspective  


Special Collections on Twitter

Special Collections of the University of Sussex at The Keep: home to the Mass Observation Archive, the papers of Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling and many more.

RT @MassObsArchive: #OnThisDay 1936 "Gone with the Wind" is published. MO's 1947 survey Reading in #Tottenham notices its enduring appeal

Our old library home is being re-modelled into student space; just another benefit of our move to @TheKeepArchives…

RT @TheKeepArchives: There are still places available on our series book-binding and conservation workshops! Visit

RT @SussexUniStaff: Prof Matthew Dimmock's knowledge of Islam is playing a significant role at @glyndebourne Opera House this summer…

#OnThisDay in 1936, @MassObsArchive 's Humphrey Jennings was busy opening the London International Surrealist Exhibition.

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