Special Collections

Radical Voices: Mechanics' Institution Libraries

On 3rd March 2017, as part of its ‘Radical Voices’ season, Senate House Library is hosting a conference entitled ‘Radical Collections: Radicalism and Libraries and Archives’. With this in mind, this blog post looks at an almost 200-year-old attempt to increase access to literature and science for the working class, via the libraries of the Mechanics’ Institutions.
27 Feb 2017
Leila Kassir

Radical Voices: a new season opens in Senate House Library

All I have is a voice, W.H. Auden wrote in his 1939 poem, ‘September 1, 1939’, and Senate House Library will be celebrating all those who have used their voices to argue for change and improvement throughout the last few centuries. The work of libraries and archives has long been to preserve the artefacts of these ideas, movements and activists and we are proud to make these many voices sing again. Today a free exhibition opens on the fourth floor in Senate House Library, displaying items representing myriad ways voices have been expressed.
10 Jan 2017
Dr Jordan Landes

Book on a Cushion: Notes from the Special Collections Reading Room at Senate House Library

A large portion of the work we undertake in Special Collections is affectionately known as ‘fetch’. A reader requests a rare book or archival material, and we go get it, bringing it from one of the secured strong rooms to the reading room where it can be consulted. Given the variety of our readers’ interests, often we end up fetching things we never would think of consulting ourselves. Our new blog series Book on a Cushion , is designed to highlight some of the interesting items in our collections, the things we stumble across during the fetch and find beautiful, or intriguing, or both.
5 Dec 2016
Anne Mclaughlin