Public access to the archive
The University Archive is open to the public by appointment only. Staff and students should see Services to Staff and Students for information on how they can access the collections. If you are a former student seeking confirmation of your qualifications or information about your records please see Qualification Enquiries below.
Visiting the Archives
The Archive Reading Room is open to the public Tuesday-Thursday 10am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-5pm by appointment only. If you wish to carry out an extended period of research on our collections (i.e. more than 3 days) please get in touch as early as possible, as extended opening may be possible with enough notice.
Researchers visiting the University Archive for the first time will be required to provide evidence of identity, such as a passport or a driving licence, and to complete a registration form.
The registration form incorporates an undertaking to abide by the Regulations for Access (PDF). The regulations for access are designed to protect unique and often fragile materials and to safeguard them for the future. On each visit to the University Archive all researchers will also be required to sign the day register.
Researchers new to archive research should note that only pencils or laptop computers may be used for taking notes (a power socket is available). No pens or hand-held scanners are allowed in the reading room.
Archive material must only be consulted in the archive reading room, which will be supervised at all times. Please see below for information about making copies.
In line with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 the general administrative records held in the University Archives are open to the public, unless subject to specific exemption.
Records containing personal data remain closed to the public for 80 years, in compliance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Under certain conditions, it may be possible for researchers to view these records. Contact the University Archivist for further information.
The Archive Reading Room is located in 4-12 Little Titchfield Street. Visitors to the Archive should report to the reception desk – immediately inside the main entrance – and ask for the University Archivist. The nearest tube stations are Oxford Circus or Goodge Street. There is no parking available, though parking space for the disabled can usually be arranged by giving advance notice. The Archive Reading Room is wheelchair accessible.
For more details on how to find us, see the Little Titchfield Street page.
General historical and genealogy enquiries
We are happy to answer enquiries about the history of the University and the nature of the archive collections. We will search the archives in response to specific enquiries, but such searches will be time-limited and we are unable to undertake detailed research on behalf of enquirers. Before contacting the University Archive with an enquiry, please first check the list of collections we hold, and any relevant information published in our research guides.
We are also happy to answer family history enquiries. Family History enquirers should note that the surviving records of the University of Westminster and its predecessor bodies are incomplete, and therefore it may not be possible to verify staff employment details or student attendance. If you are looking for someone who attended the Polytechnic between 1879 and 1960 they may be mentioned in the Polytechnic Magazines, which we have recently digitised. You can find the Magazines, and advice on searching them at http://westuni.websds.net/
Records containing personal data relating to living individuals may be closed under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. However in some cases, it may still be possible for readers to view these records. Contact the University Archivist for further information.
If you were a student at the University of Westminster or one of its predecessor bodies and would like confirmation of your qualifications you will find instructions on how to do this under Transcripts and Certificate Requests.
If you would like to access any other personal data held on you by the University please see our information on data protection.
You are welcome to bring a digital camera with you on your visit to the archive. You will be asked to sign a Copyright Declaration Form and to keep a record of the documents you make copies from.
Please note that tripods and monopods are not allowed in the reading room and any copies made should be for the purposes of research and private study only.
Please see our self service digital photography policy document (PDF) for further details.
Please contact the University Archivist if you subsequently wish to publish any of the images.
The University of Westminster
4-12 Little Titchfield Street
London W1W 7BY
Tel: +44 (0)203 506 9602
View the map and directions.