Special Collections: History

History resources in Special Collections

Special Collection is home to a vast array of resources, many of which are of interest to historical researchers. They are outlined in this guide.

History resources on the Special Collections blog

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Burnett Archive of Working-class autobiographies

 The Burnett Archive includes around 360 autobiographies whose writers were working-class for at least part of their lives. They wrote in English and lived in England, Scotland or Wales between 1790 and 1945.

Further information about the Burnett Archive.

Gilbert Blount Archive

Blount was a nineteenth century architect who worked with Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This collection of his letters and diaries includes correspondence with his father and with Brunel.

Further information about the Gilbert Blount Archive.

Transport History Collection

This collection is a rich source for social and economic history researchers. It offers good coverage of British railway history, particularly the Great Western Railway, from earliest times to the 1980s. It includes books, journals and timetables, plus ephemera such as tickets and objects.

Further details about the Transport History Collection.

Channel Tunnel Association Archive

 The Channel Tunnel Association Archive is a large collection dating between 1802 and 2002, chronicling the history of building tunnels under the Channel and related political and security issues. It includes correspondence, press cuttings, articles and plans.

Further information about the Channel Tunnel Association Archive.

Rare books and periodicals

As well as some rare books, we have runs of nineteenth and early twentieth century periodicals, including Nineteenth Century, the Ladies Home Journal, All the year round, Illustrated London News and the London mercury. These are a fascinating source both for articles, advertising and printing history.

Further information about the rare books and periodicals collection.