Kent Law School ‘Legal Treasures’ tour at SOAS Archives

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|18th July 2014|Teaching & Learning|0 comments

In May 2014, a group of 12 postgraduate students from the Kent Law School visited SOAS Archives as part of their ‘Legal Treasures Tour’, with course tutor, Professor Amanda Perry-Kessaris.  Amanda, who has been developing the Legal Treasures Tour for some years, had previously brought a class to us in 2013.


After a general introduction to the service and a tour of our archive store, the group were left free to browse a display of archive material from our collections, on a legal theme. The students were then asked to create a visual record of ‘what most captured their memory’ by producing a photo or drawing of an object on display. Our manuscript collections proved popular and both their content and the beauty of the artwork or calligraphy were admired, some of the oldest dating back to the 14th Century. One student was particularly interested in the oral history archive, India – a People Partitioned (OA3), a collection of interviews on the Partition of India, originally produced by Andrew Whitehead for a BBC broadcast. Others focused on specific formats such as the visually impressive campaign posters from our NGO collections, or detailed case papers found in the missionary archives relating to a British missionary, John Smith, found guilty by court martial of ‘inciting’ and supporting enslaved Africans in the ‘Demerara rebellion of 1823’, and who subsequently died in custody.

SOAS Archives supports Teaching and Learning for course groups from SOAS and external institutions. Sessions are held on Wednesdays, between 9am and 5pm, when the Special Collections Reading Room is closed to the public. Please contact us at, if you are interested in holding a session using the collections.

SOAS Archives have produced a series of specialist guides, which aim to help researchers explore our archives and manuscript collections by particular regions, subjects or themes. This includes a guide to archival sources for legal studies.

See news feature on the University of Kent’s website, Kent LLM Students explore London archives on Legal Treasures Tour, 21 May 2014.

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About Special Collections, SOAS Library

Broadly speaking, our collections reflect the British interaction with Africa, Asia and the Middle East over the last 250 years, and include archives of missionary societies, NGOs and campaign groups, and business organisations, as well as papers of individuals, including diplomats, campaigners, and academics. If you have any questions, or comments, please get in touch! email: tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4180

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