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Education, Communication & Language Sciences: Archives and Special Collections

Library guide for resources in ECLS subjects

What are Special Collections?

Special Collections are unique and rare resources held by Newcastle University's Robinson's Library.  We hold both archives and rare books.

Due to their rarity and their sometimes fragile condition, these items are not on the normal library shelves, but they are available to everyone in the Special Collections reading room.

What Collections are Available in the Robinson Library?

This guide will point you in the direction of some collections which are particularly relevant to your subject area.

For a wider look at more of our collections, and to see tips on ordering and using archives and rare books, there is also a Special Collections LibGuide ...

Rare Books Outside of the 'Rare Book Collections'

Not all of our rare books are in 'collections' with particular relevance to your subject area, we also have hundreds of rare and unique books which were acquired by the library individually, across a range of subjects, which might also be valuable to your research.

Just a few to get you started ...

We have plenty more ...

All of our rare books are on the library catalogue, so start your search by entering your topic area, author, or title into library search in the normal way.

To view items within the Special Collections department, you can then refine your search by clicking on the Special Collections Location.

Wallis Papers

The Wallis Papers contain research material and correspondence relating to Peter and Ruth Wallis' research on mathematics education and libraries.

Type of Material: Archives

Subject Areas:  Education  Mathematics

More on Wallis (Ruth and Peter) Archive...

Plowden Papers

Papers of the distinguished public servant Lady Bridget Plowden (1910-2000), including extensive and rich resources reflecting her many areas of concern, including primary education and the promotion of high-quality television broadcasting. Lady Plowden's highest public profile was during the years 1975-1980, when she chaired the Independent Broadcasting Authority, but her most seminal influence on British life was in the 1960s, through the progressive educational philosophy espoused by the Plowden Report on primary education.

Type of Material: Archives

Subject Areas:  Education  Media and Culture  Political History  Politics  Social History

More on Plowden (Lady Bridget) Archive...

Spence Watson/ Weiss Papers

Papers relating to the Newcastle-born politician, social and educational reformer and co-founder of Armstrong College, Robert Spence Watson (1837-1911) and to a lesser extent, his wife Elizabeth (1838-1919), a Quaker who was involved with many of her husband's projects, such as the ragged schools. Consist chiefly of correspondence sent to Robert and Elizabeth Spence Watson from leading contemporary politicians, artists, and local figures. Also contains papers of their son-in-law, Professor Frederick Weiss (1865-1953) Professor of Botany at Manchester University, and their daughter Evelyn.

Type of Material: Archives

Subject Areas:  Education   Political History  Politics  Social History

More on Spence Watson/Weiss Archive...

Medical Collection

Collection of over 2000 volumes and hundreds of pamphlets, covering the history of medicine and a broad range of medical subjects. The collection is rich in seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth-century works.

Type of Material: Rare Books / Published Material

Subject Areas:  Medicine and Surgery   Chemistry

More on Medical Collection...

Trevelyan Papers

The Trevelyan Papers represent several generations of the Trevelyan family whose home was Wallington Hall, Northumberland, and their diverse roles and interests. They include the professional and personal papers of:

Naturalist and geologist Walter Calverley Trevelyan  (1797-1870), reflecting his scientific interests.

Civil servant and colonial administrator Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan (1807-1886), who worked for the East India Company and the Home Civil Service as Assistant Secretary to the Treasury during the Irish Famine. 

Politician and author Sir George Otto Trevelyan (1838-1928), a Liberal M.P. and Chief Secretary for Ireland after the Phoenix Park murders.

Liberal and then Labour M.P. Sir Charles Philip Trevelyan (1870-1958), who was a founder of the Union of Democratic Control in World War I and later President of the Board of Education. There are some of his wife Molly's (1881-1966), papers including her diaries for 1892-1917.

Type of Material: Archives

Subject Areas:

Walter Calverley Tevelyan: Biology  Chemistry  Civil Engineering  Education  Geomatics  Physics  Social History  Zoology

Charles Edward Tevelyan:  Education  Political History  Politics

George Otto Trevelyan:  Biology  Physics  Political History  Politics  Sociology

Charles Philip Trevelyan:  Education   Political History  Politcs  Social History

More on Trevelyan Papers...