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.

The mace still used at all #sussexgrad was made by Gerald Benney in 1963 & has the old motto and crest with pelicans.

Congratulations to all graduating this week; hope your functionaries look as dashing as they did in 1968. #sussexgrad

@guardian @BLpressoffice A great article on the importance of digitising sound recordings.

Voices In Your Pocket uses Augmented Reality to bring the voices of a range of people associated with @MassObsArchive into different spaces.

Voices In Your Pocket, the Observing the 1980's inspired @MassObsArchive Augmented Reality App is working once again!

Visit SussexSpeccoll on Twitter