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



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.

Emma Johnson (Asa Briggs Intern) has written a lovely blog post about her work conserving our Paris Commune papers.…

@sussexlibrary @TheKeepArchives We also welcome those who are "Mad about Mass Observation" with @MassObsArchive or "Wild about Woman's Own".

@MassObsArchive is all together again at last. The last batch is back from digitisation & are once more available to order @TheKeepArchives

Lovely conservation work @TheKeepArchives on Leonard Woolf's diaries. One down, one to go; & look at the difference!

@katiejosephson Hi did you email too? We've replied! If not please email us on

Visit SussexSpeccoll on Twitter