Royal Holloway, University of London Archives and Special Collections
Royal Holloway and Bedford Colleges both began as women’s colleges and the archive collections are a rich resource for the history of women’s higher education in England. As well as the institutional records we hold personal papers of former staff and students which give an insight into life at the Colleges for the women who studied and worked here.
Please email Annabel Valentine, the College Archivist, or phone 01784 443814 for help and information. She also tweets from the Royal Holloway library twitter account @RHUL_Library
The archives website has lots of information about the collections as well as an online catalogue and FAQs about using the archives. Our Item Of The Month feature highlights a different item each month from the archives and special collections, rare books and art collection. We pick items that relate to current events or the month we’re writing in.
The Archives also put on physical exhibitions throughout the year including a display on the second floor of the Founders’ library which is free to browse all year round. The next new display to go up there will highlight some of the inspirational women who have studied or worked at the colleges as part of Explore Your Archive week and the #RHWomenInspire campaign.
The website also has online exhibitions on themes including College Fashions (including sections on clothes for sport and academic and evening dress), College Community (including sections on the introduction of men and the infamous College fire drills), Social Life for the students (including sections on the importance of tea and student discos and balls) , World War One (including sections on student life in war time and the students’ war work) and the Nursing Courses at Bedford College . The papers from these courses were digitised and are available online via the Royal Holloway Research repository
In addition to the College archives we also hold special collections including the papers of Gay Sweatshop, Half Moon, Red Shift and Molecule theatre companies as well as the Roy Waters theatrical ephemera collection. An online exhibition of the Roy Waters collections focuses on highlights from the collection.