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Archive Collections

The UCL SSEES Library holds over 200 archive collections. Most of them are fairly small collections, many contain material in a Slavonic language and quite a few contain or consist solely of photographs. All of the collections come from individuals or organisations with a connection to the areas studied by the School.

Sketch of Maglai, Bosnia by Sir Arthur Evans

Access to the majority of archive collections is unrestricted and they can be consulted in the Library without special permission, although we prefer users to make an appointment in advance. A number of collections are accessible only after a formal application and the acceptance of special conditions.

To arrange an archives appointment, contact ssees-library@ucl.ac.uk. Please provide brief details of your research and specify exactly which archive materials you wish to consult. (A detailed description of each collection is available on our website.) You are welcome to suggest a date and time for your visit and we will try to accommodate your preferences wherever possible, but for practical reasons we do not normally accept bookings from more than two archive users on any one day. Please also note that the Library is extremely busy during May as it is the examination period. Unless your visit is particularly urgent you are advised to avoid booking an archives appointment during May.

On the first day of your visit you will be asked to complete an 'Access to Archives' form and agree to our standard terms and conditions. If you do not already have a UCL library card, we will issue you with a free reference ticket to the Library for the duration of your visit. Please ensure that you bring photographic proof of ID with you and also some proof of your home address, such as a bank statement or utility bill. Although the Library is open 24 hours during the week in term-time, archive materials may only be consulted during our staffed hours: 09:00-21:00 Monday to Friday, or 10:00-17:00 Saturday. (During vacation periods 10:00-19:00 Monday to Friday, or 10:00-17:00 Saturday.)

The archives table is located on the second floor of the Library. You may consult up to three boxes / volumes of archive material at the table at any one time, but you can of course request more than three items for your visit. If you would like to prioritise particular items from a collection, please let us know before you arrive.

Archive materials may not be photocopied, but you are welcome to take photos for the purpose of private study. Please ensure the flash on your camera is switched off. Special terms apply to the reproduction of photographs and the photography of documents for publication; further information is available on request. Archive material is not available for loan.

Finding aids

An online guide to the collections is available. All catalogues are available online and these catalogues are linked to the guide. Since many of the collections are very small. i.e. one volume, they are only described at collection level.

Digitised Collections

In 2009, UCL SSEES Library took part in the EU-funded EuropeanaTravel project. UCL SSEES Library's contribution to the project included over 300 volumes of printed accounts of travels in Central and Eastern Europe as well as Russia dating from 1557 through 1860. Over 200 maps were also digitised, the oldest dating back to the 1540s.

Further enquiries

Enquiries can be made to the User Services staff in the Library, e-mail ssees-library@ucl.ac.uk, or by calling 020 7679 8702.

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This page last modified Tuesday 6th February 2018.

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