Collections

The archives we hold are mainly records of the University's predecessor bodies, going back to the Royal Polytechnic Institution founded in 1838, and also of the Polytechnic Sports and Social Clubs.

In addition there are a number of collections deposited or donated to support research. These collections are listed below. We are actively building our collections. Please get in touch if you have any archive material which you think might be of interest.

The University Archive has recently launched an online catalogue. The catalogue contains overview descriptions of all the collections listed below, with some collections described in more detail. The catalogue is constantly being added to so please check back, or get in touch with us if you are looking for something specific. The University’s main archive collection are also listed on the AIM25 database, which gives on-line access to descriptions of University archives in London and the M25 area.

For information on commonly researched themes in our archives, and the records we have available for them, see our research guides.

Please note that the public require appointments in order to visit the Archives – see Public Access. There are  separate arrangements for Staff and Students.

Predecessor bodies

The University Archive contains the surviving records from the following predecessor and associated bodies:

  • Royal Polytechnic Institution
  • Youths' Christian Institute and successors
  • Regent Street Polytechnic
  • Polytechnic of Central London
  • University of Westminster
  • Holborn College and predecessors
  • York Place Ragged School
  • Harrow College of Education and predecessors
  • Polytechnic Secondary School
  • Paddington Technical College
  • Sidney Webb College

Clubs and societies

The University Archive holds the records of sports and social clubs from the Regent Street Polytechnic. These vary in size from several boxes to just one item. Please see the online catalogue for more information. Clubs for which the Archive holds records are as follows:

  • Polytechnic Amateur Dramatic Society (PADS)
  • Polytechnic Architectural Students Society
  • Polytechnic Christian Fellowship
  • Polytechnic Darts Club
  • Polytechnic Engineering Society
  • Polytechnic Folk Dance Club
  • Ingoldsby Club
  • The Polytechnic and BBC Club Joint Film Society
  • Polytechnic Ladies Athletics Club
  • Polytechnic Ladies’ Billiards and Snooker Club
  • Polytechnic Ladies Cycling Club
  • Polytechnic Lecture and Debating Society
  • Polytechnic Masonic Lodge
  • Polytechnic Music Society
  • Old Members Association
  • Polytechnic Operatic Society
  • Old Quintinians’ Club
  • Old Tyme Dancing Society
  • Polytechnic Boxing Club
  • Polytechnic Cycling Club
  • Polytechnic Choral and Orchestral Society
  • Polytechnic Cricket Club
  • Polytechnic Football Club
  • Polytechnic Fencing Club
  • Polytechnic French Society
  • Polytechnic Harriers Athletic Club
  • Polytechnic Hockey Club
  • Records of the Polytechnic Institute
  • Polytechnic Natural History Society
  • Polytechnic Parliament
  • Polytechnic Rambling Club
  • Polytechnic Rifle Club
  • Polytechnic Sports and Social Clubs
  • Polytechnic Social and Discussion Club
  • Policy Studies Institute
  • Polytechnic Swimming and Water Polo Club
  • Polytechnic Touring Association
  • Reading Circle
  • Polytechnic Rugby Football Club
  • Polytechnic Roller Skating Club
  • Student Players
  • Waterloo Club

Personal, Family and Professional Papers

The University Archive collects the personal and professional archives of people with a connection to the University or its predecessor institutions. These include several large collections relating to a person’s career, as well as smaller deposits of correspondence, examples of student work, travel diaries and photographs. 

The following is a list of personal, family and professional papers deposited with the University Archive:

  • Richard Atkins
  • Edward James Back
  • Leslie William Arthur Baily
  • Alice G Baker
  • W K A Barnes
  • Ethel Bil
  • John T Blamey
  • Wilfred Goddard Bryant
  • South Bank Group (Trevor Dannatt)
  • PE Davis
  • Mark Fenton
  • SJ Hitchcock
  • Quintin Hogg, and family
  • Hogg, Sons & J B Johnstone Ltd (Tailors)
  • JEK Studd and family
  • John Francis Charlewood Turner
  • Jacobine Jones
  • T J Locke
  • Dora Leba Lourie
  • Victor Gordon Lunn
  • Max Lock Archive (Please see the preliminary listing of this collection for more information)
  • Joseph Stacey
  • Marion Taylor

Oral History Archive

The University Archive is currently engaged in an oral history project, conducting interviews with former staff and students. Each interview is indexed with key themes but has not been fully transcribed. An overview of each interview is available on the Archive catalogue and the interviews are available to listen to in full in the Archive Reading Room.

Reference Library

The University Archive collects publications relating to aspects of our history, famous alumni, and textbooks written by teachers at the Regent Street Polytechnic. These include many publications whose authors have researched in the Archive, or which include images from our collections. These are also listed on the Archive catalogue and available to view in the Archive Reading Room.

Chinese Poster Collection

The University Archive manages a unique collection of around 800 posters spanning the 1950s to the 1980s, as well as a range of memorabilia. For more information, please see Online resources.

Contact us

Archive Services
The University of Westminster
4-12 Little Titchfield Street
London W1W 7BY
Tel: +44 (0) 203 506 9602
E:[email protected]

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