Update from Archives and Special Collections

Archives and Special Collections are located on the ground level of the Library. We look after and provide access to collections of unique and rare material. We have changed how we work this year, including the different ways we support your learning. To help you learn about archives and use our collections from wherever you are, we’ve created the following online resources:

Working with archives explains what archives are and the practicalities of using them, as well as suggesting how you can effectively interpret archive material and use it to inform your own work. 

Referencing archives outlines how to reference archives correctly in assignments and dissertations.

We’ve also put together a video introducing the Thomas Farrer Collection. The video offers a glimpse into one of our stores as well as a close look at some of our rare books.

Still to come are videos on How to navigate our catalogue and What you can bring into our Archives Research Room so do keep an eye out for those on the Library’s social media.

As well as creating new resources, we’ve also been busy updating our online catalogue. You’ll now find descriptions of the Students’ Union’s magazine, ‘The Stag’. We hold copies dating back to 2008 when it was first published in tabloid newspaper format, and we keep a copy for the archive whenever it is published for posterity. Student magazines record the changing interests and activities of students over time and so can provide a really useful insight into changing student experience. Our student magazines for Battersea Polytechnic, Surrey’s predecessor institution, were recently used in the university’s Remembrance Day commemorations because they include letters received from students serving in the War and recorded the deaths of fallen students, staff and alumni.

Descriptions for the business correspondence in the E.H. Shepard Archive have been enhanced so you have a clearer idea of their content. Ernest Howard Shepard (1879-1976) was an illustrator, perhaps best known for his drawings of Winnie-the-Pooh. The business correspondence in Shepard’s archive records Shepard’s interactions with publishers, agents and collaborators, and give us an insight into his working practice. There are letters from Winnie-the-Pooh author A.A. Milne and publisher Methuen & Co. (now Egmont UK Ltd) which reveal how Shepard’s illustrations evolved and developed and chart the books’ success. There are also hundreds of letters relating to Shepard’s other work, including for the satirical magazine Punch, and his own children’s books.   

For more information on our collections and services, or to book a 1:1 appointment with us to discuss how you might use archives in your studies and assignments, please email archives@surrey.ac.uk