Special Collections Open Day

By Special Collections, SOAS Library|8th November 2019|Behind the scenes, Collections & Research|0 comments

We recently held our annual Open Day which was a great success. A lot of time, planning and effort goes into selecting the items for display and making captions for these, so we were delighted to smash last year’s record for visitors and welcome over 110 SOAS staff, students and alumni.


(C) SOAS Special Collections

As always, when selecting items for display, we try to give a taste of the breadth of our archive, manuscript and rare book collections. These comprise anything from journals, letters and ledgers to photographs, vinyl records, palm leaf manuscripts and maps and cover Africa, Asia, and the Middle East as well as parts of Europe, the Americas and Caribbean, and Australasia and Oceania. If you’d like to learn more about our collections, we have loads of helpful information on our webpages including descriptions of the material we hold and useful research guides.


(C) SOAS Special Collections

As well as trying to showcase the strengths and variety of our collections in a the display we also offer behind-the scenes tours of our archive stores where we explain about the collections and how we care for them in some detail. These are always well received, and this year was no exception with every tour fully booked. We really enjoy doing these, and in particular the opportunity to answer the many varied and interesting questions that come up.

(c) SOAS Special Collections

Feedback has been great – we always take comments and try to improve where we can. One of the key things that many of our Open Day visitors commented on is that they would like to be able to come along to more events like this. I’m not sure we could manage something on this scale more regularly but we are keen to put on some more frequent, smaller events, so watch this space!

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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: special.collections@soas.ac.uk tel: +44 (0)20 7898 4180

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