Special Collections

Search Special Collections at The Keep

Access the Special Collections Catalogue at the Keep


Our 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.

The Library is also home to the British Library for Development Studies (BLDS) Legacy Collection, which tracks the unfolding story of international development over the last half century, and provides an unparalleled resource for better understanding the history of evolving development interventions since the 1960s, as well as the University of Sussex Legacy Collection, which contains a wealth of rare and unique ephemera organised  under the themes of War, Social Movements, Social Welfare, Trade Unions, Popular and Counter Cultures, Gender Studies and Feminism, Political Movements and Parties.

Special Collections at The Keep

Special Collections, including the Mass Observation Archive is 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 and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO) and 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. You can register for a Reader's ticket, search the catalogue, book seat and pre-order items to view via The Keep's website. You can also search the University's Special Collections by using the search box above.

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Visiting The Keep
Popular Culture in Britain and America, 1950-1975 (for Sussex students and staff)

Containing materials from Matusow, Mai 68 and more.

Observing the 80s (open to all)

Brings together voices from the Mass Observation Project & British Library Oral History Collections alongside ephemera from the University of Sussex Library.

German Jewish Family Archives (open to all)

Narratives focusing on pre-war German Jewish life, experiences during WW1 and WW2 and restitution after WW2. The project website has digitised images, a timeline and translations of some of the documents.

Freely available online resources