Archives & Special Collections

Welcome to the Archives & Special Collections. These pages will provide you with information on how to access the archives, discover our collections and how these can inspire your learning, teaching and research.

About Us

Within the Archives & Special Collections at the University of Surrey you can explore over 60 collections of archives and rare books. They incorporate a huge range of unique and fascinating materials including manuscripts, letters, photographs, diaries, artwork, journals, musical scores, costume, and audio-visual material. We have three key collecting strands – the archives of the University of Surrey and its predecessor Battersea Polytechnic, the E H Shepard Archive and associated collections, and the archives of the National Resource Centre for Dance, as well as a range of other special collections.

We seek to preserve and make these collections available to researchers, students and interested members of the public via our Research Room within the University Library and through our enquiry service.

Access our Archives

The Research Room is located on the ground level of the University Library and can accommodate up to 18 researchers at a time (and slightly more in a teaching session, induction or talk). It houses 2 audio-visual units and a microfilm reader for both archive visitors and library users, 3 PCs, and a range of reference material.

Researchers can access the Archives & Special Collections in a number of ways:

  • By visiting our Research Room; appointments can be made via the channels on the right
  • By searching our online catalogue
  • By contacting us via email, telephone or post
  • By engaging with us via our Instagram account @uniofsurreyarchives and our regularly updated Blog

Requesting material to consult

A period of notice is required when requesting material to consult prior to your first visit so do bear this in mind when making your arrangements. Depending on your request this can vary so do please email us with your requirements and we will endevour to meet them in as timely a manner as possible. 

Due to the unique nature of archive material our collections can only be accessed in our research room. Items from the collections are not available for borrowing. 

We will contact you to confirm your appointment. 

Depositing Records

We welcome all offers of donations and deposits to the Archives & Special Collections that fit within the scope of our Collecting Policies. These Collecting Policies are designed to support the research and teaching of the University of Surrey and to develop coherent collections which build on existing strengths. In considering whether the University is the right place for your collection we will look at the connection to the university, whether the records are of historical or research value and whether we have the right facilities to care for the collection in the long term.

For members of staff and internal departments we actively collect records created by the University, and many of our records are transferred directly from departments, schools and services by University staff. If you are looking to transfer material to the University Archives to be preserved please contact us. If you are looking to transfer items temporarily for storage, please review the information on the Information Compliance Unit pages.

We are also interested in recording the experiences of students and staff of the University and we are actively trying to grow this area of the archive. If you have any memorabilia and papers from your time here then please do contact us.


Copying of archive material is carried out by archive staff and is subject to both the condition of the material requested and the restrictions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and subsidiary legislation. Digital photography permits are also available.

Some collections may have further restrictions applied to reprographics depending on their terms of deposit. Please email the archives team with your requirements, or discuss in person during a visit to the Research Room. Fees apply.
Copying and publishing charges (297.47KB - Requires Adobe Reader) Copyright Declaration (122.5KB)
Anyone is welcome to visit the Archives and Special Collections, but an appointment is necessary to view material.

The research room is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10.00am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.00pm.
From time to time it may be necessary to close the research room. Please check the Library Twitter page for our latest information.

Archives & Special Collections
University Library
George Edwards Building
University of Surrey


tel: +44 (0)1483 683030 / 689631

Instagram: @uniofsurreyarchives


Archives & Special Collections and National Resource Centre for Dance: Online Store

Where we are

University Library, George Edwards Building,  University of Surrey,  Guildford,  Surrey GU2 7XH,  United Kingdom T: +44 (0)1483 689235 F: +44 (0)1483 689500

More contact details
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