Special Collections & Archives


About Special Collections and Archives

We manage the University of Kent’s unique and distinctive collections so that they are preserved and accessible for the benefit of teaching, scholarship and society.

Special Collections and Archives are located in the Templeman Library on the Canterbury campus.

We collect, curate, and manage material which supports the University's research and teaching. Our collections are open to everyone, whether your interest is for personal or academic research.

We have over 150 archival collections. Our collection strengths include:

  • popular and comic performance from the Victorian era to the present, including published and archival material from pantomime, melodrama, variety, stand-up comedy
  • cartoon artwork and publications, particularly cartoons using satire to make a political or social comment
  • the history of the University of Kent and the local area
  • photographs, scrapbooks, engineer records, and published books relating to wind and watermills
  • collections of 20th century prose and poetry first editions.

Collection development

If you are interested in how we collect material or are interested in depositing material please see our Collection Management Policy, which outlines how we collect new archive and book collections.

Group visits and teaching sessions

If you are interested in organising a group visit or seminar within Special Collections and Archives please see our teaching support page.

Accessing material

If you would like to use material cared for by Special Collections & Archives please see access and opening hours.

Finding material within the collections

Our book collections and theatre playtexts are catalogued on LibrarySearch.

We are in the process of transferring catalogue data about our archive collections to a new catalogue system. If you are:

Lending material to other institutions

We aim to provide the widest possible access to our collections, to promote our collections more generally to wide audiences, and to promote scholarship and research around our collections.

We welcome applications from other institutions and organisations to borrow items from our collections for exhibition. Please see our Terms and Conditions for Loaning Material (docx) for more information.

Contact us

To make an appointment or if you have an enquiry:



How to find us

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Last Updated: 08/10/2018