The Special Collections & Archives is open from Monday – Friday, 10:00 – 16:00, on an appointment-only basis. Our Library will remain closed.
Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives document the experiences of everyday people, and the extraordinary individuals and organisations who have strived for social, political and cultural change.
Since the archive opened to the public in 1895 it has been steadily growing, with unique collections gifted and loaned to us. Some are London focused, but the lives they preserve and the issues they explore have national and global resonance.
The collections offer both breadth and depth. We have 150,000 books, pamphlets, maps and photographs of London. The Lesbian and Gay News media Archive (LAGNA) alone holds 350,000 press cuttings. The photographic archives over 500,000 images. We have a growing oral-history archive and the collections contain fascinating ephemera, from banners and badges to club flyers and condoms.
This trove of materials is supported by a searchable online catalogue.
Donate to the Archives
Donations are important for the future of Bishopsgate Institute’s Special Collections and Archives. We are pleased to accept donations of books, archival material or other resources from individuals or organisations.
Space and resources mean we have to be selective, however we’re looking for material that:
- Fits our subject areas and falls within the scope of Library’s Collection Policy
- Has no restrictions on subsequent location or timescale for processing or disposal. Has no restrictions on how quickly it needs to be received and processed by us
- Is in reasonable physical condition
- Doesn’t duplicate content we already have.
If you have material that could enhance our Library and you’re considering donating it, we’d be delighted to discuss this with you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7392 9270.