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Special Collections & Archives

Details about the three repositories held at the University of Roehampton: the main Foyle Special Collections & Archives, the Whitelands College Archive, and the Southlands College Archive

About & Contact Us


Archives consultation room with table seating 12

The Foyle Special Collections & Archives consist of rare books, original documents and artefacts which support various teaching and research areas of the University of Roehampton.

The collections relate to Friedrich Froebel and the kindergarten, Froebel College, Children's Literature and the children’s book author Richmal Crompton, Dance, and to a number of other areas including Religious Studies.

The Foyle Special Collections & Archives are located on the second floor of the University Library. 

Visit us


We have adapted our archives services and procedures in line with public health guidance and the University’s response to COVID-19. Please take time to read the information outlined below.


We have reduced our seating capacity to two people in the Foyle Special Collections room to allow for the recommended social distancing as much as possible.

Unfortunately, no group bookings will be possible for the time being. 

Appointment booking essential for all Supervised Access material
We ask you to book an appointment for consulting supervised access material at least one week before the intended visit. Appointments must be confirmed by the archivist. We will not be able to accommodate users who have not booked in advance.

Prior to your visit please contact us to discuss your research topic and to submit a material request list to so that we can have these items ready for you. To do that, use our Archives and Library catalogues. We may not be able to produce additional records during the visit.

Please note that due to quarantine procedures you may at times not be able to view all material you have requested; we will contact you as soon as possible and rearrange your appointment if necessary.


Open Access Special Collections

You do not need an appointment to use our Open Access Special Collections. Please check the Library catalogue if you are unsure if a book is available on open or supervised access. When you finish, please do not re-shelve the book, but place it on the trollies provided, so we can quarantine them. If you have any questions, email us.

Arrival and consultation
  • Before arrival, please familiarise yourself with the COVID-19 Guide to using the Library.
  • Face coverings must be worn in the Library unless you are exempt from doing so.
  • Upon arrival, we will ask you to wait outside the Foyle Special Collections room until the time of the appointment.
  • We will ask you to take a seat in the designated areas only.
  • We encourage you not to share the coat cupboard with other users.
  • Pencils only – bring your own please!
  • Your documents/books will be placed on a trolley or the table next to your seat. Everything should be returned to the trolley or table when finished.
  • All material is reference only.
  • Laptop computers, mobile phones and other portable devices may be used when muted, but we ask you not to take or make any calls and be considerate towards other users.
  • No eating or drinking is allowed inside the Foyle Special Collections room.

All material will be quarantined for 72 hours before issuing to the next user.


Search Our Collections

Handling & Copyright


The greatest cause of damage of library and archive collections is incorrect handling. We believe that your care and awareness will contribute to continued preservation and access to the archival documents. Correct handling is largely common sense, but here are a few things to remember:

  • Hands should be clean and free of creams and lotions as dirt and grease can penetrate the surface of documents and cause damage. Gloves are not usually required.
  • Do not lean on a bound volume or document and do not write on top of any collection item. Use the equipment provided such as book supports and weights.
  • Use pencils only for note taking or a laptop computer.
  • Loose items should be kept in order - always return material in the same order in which you received it.

The Archivist is always at hand to answer any questions you may have in relation to handling or other queries. Just ask!

Reproduction of archival material

Archival material is subject to the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act 1988 and researchers must comply with regulations laid down in the Act. Copies of archival material are made available for private research only.

Copying can be carried out by archive staff only. Copying may not be allowed if there is a risk of damage to the item, or for any reason deemed appropriate by the Archivist. Photocopies are free of charge, and an hourly fee will apply for a digital scanning service.

Digital cameras and personal scanning devices may be used at the discretion of the Archivist.

When citing material in publications please ensure the source is referenced correctly.


Permission for public use

Researchers must seek written permission from the Archivist when an item is intended for public use, e.g. for book and electronic publications or broadcasting.

You must identify the source as the Archives and Special Collections and include the reference number of the item.​​