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Library and Learning Services

DMU Library Special Collections.

The Special Collections Team care for the more rare and specialised parts of the Library collection, including archives, rare books and journals, and artefacts.

The Special Collections team are based in Room 00.21 on the lower ground floor of the Kimberlin Library.

Updates about the work of the team are available on the DMU Special Collections Team Blog while images from the collections are showcased on Flickr.

The Special Collections Team

For general enquiries or to make an appointment, please contact or phone 0116 207 8776

Katharine Short, Archivist and Special Collections Team Manager 0116 250 6392, @KatharineES
Natalie Hayton, Assistant Archivist 0116 207 8724, @natalieahayton
David Millns, Assistant Archivist, 0116 207 8776

Opening Hours

Monday: Closed
Tues-Fri: 10am-5pm
Open on the first Saturday of every month 10am-2pm


The Archive includes material relating to the history of DMU since its foundation in 1870, as well as collections which support major teaching strengths of the university such as fashion, photography and performing arts. Catalogues of the DMU archives are being hosted on our new site. These catalogues are a work in progress and more descriptions will be added over time. Meanwhile if you do not see what you are looking for please contact the archivist who will be happy to discuss uncatalogued collections with you.

A guide to the archival holdings is available.

Contact or 0116 207 8776 with enquiries or to book an appointment.

Rare Books and Named Collections

The books and journals in this section are valuable and rare, and therefore need specialist care and higher security; or belong to a set of books which should not be split up into main stock (named collections).

Strengths of the collection include:

  • Photographic history
  • Fashion and textiles
  • Sports history
  • Art, design and architecture
  • Women’s magazines
  • Jainism
  • Leicester local history
  • Youth work

Named collections include the Kodak Collection, photographic books and journals donated from the Kodak Company research and development library; HATRA, books relating to textiles manufacture donated by the Hosiery and Allied Trades Research Association; and the National Youth Agency library. Recent donations include the library of the Photographers’ Gallery and a collection of sports history material from Peter Draper.

Most of the rare books and journals are catalogued on the main Library Catalogue, although more recent acquisitions are still being processed.

Contact or 0116 366 4200 with enquiries or to book an appointment.

Special Collections Mission, Vision and Values

DMU Special Collections sits within the Directorate of Library and Learning Services and shares their overall mission and vision, as well as aspiring to contribute to the Strategic Framework set out by the University.

Our Mission

To celebrate the past, present and future of De Montfort University through the preservation, promotion and display of archives and artefacts which reveal the on-going story of the institution, inspiring student achievement through engagement with heritage.

Our Vision

Our vision is to enhance teaching, learning and research activities at De Montfort University and beyond through the provision of specialist resources and to facilitate cross-departmental collaborations inspired by heritage. We aim to engage, motivate and promote learning to all and to play an active role in the life of the students, staff and the community. Special Collections will celebrate, reflect and capture the vibrancy, creativity, culture and diversity of the university as well as its excellence in research and learning.

Our Values

Our values are at the core of all our work and help us to deliver our mission.

Accessibility: to promote and maintain access to all archives and rare books for all interested parties.

Preservation: to ensure that all materials cared for within Special Collections are handled, displayed and stored according to best practice guidelines, to ensure their long term preservation as evidence of the activities of the University for future generations.

Engagement: to promote the collections across the University and the wider community, working in partnership with the DMU Heritage Centre to create a vibrant heritage hub and supporting the aspiration of students by opening them up to the possibilities of using heritage in their work.

Innovation: to encourage innovation in our approach, using new techniques, technologies and ideas to enhance our work and continually improve the interpretation and preservation of our collections.

Collaboration: to work with a range of partners both within the University and across the community, encouraging mutually beneficial dialogues and exciting possibilities to enhance learning, celebrate achievement and create networks.

Our Aspirations

  • To develop archival holdings which reflect the achievements of DMU over its history and to collect the contemporary records which will become the archives of tomorrow
  • To enhance teaching, learning and research by provision of subject-specific archives and book collections that reflect major teaching strengths of the University
  • To collaborate with academics to provide an exciting programme of student engagement with the archive and rare book collections and to offer students the opportunity for personal enhancement through placements in the archive
  • To use appropriate technologies to catalogue the collections and promote them across the global research community

Special Collections Policies

The Special Collections Team has developed a set of policies to assist us in achieving our mission. These can be consulted below:

PLEASE NOTE: the Art Collections Coordinator and the Heritage Centre Coordinator are now part of ADH Professional Services team.

Contact Kate Slovak Wilkes on with enquiries about the art collections.

Contact Elizabeth Wheelband on with enquiries about the Heritage Centre.