Special collections

Assuming the Government road map is on course, we are reopening on Tuesday 13 April. We are constantly reviewing our services to see how we can safely allow access to our records. We are committed to ensuring that the service continues to comply with Covid-19 Secure regulations so there are limitations on what is available. Please see all the information about booking in advance, the number of documents you can order in advance, opening hours and our FAQs at

Search the Special Collections 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.

Special Collections at The Keep

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) 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 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 above.

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