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Archives and Special Collections: An Introduction

An introduction to Archives and Special Collections

What's in the Archive?

The Archive holds institutional records of DMU and its predecessors going back to 1870. These include registers, prospectuses, photographs, posters, building plans, clothing and even medical instruments. The Archive also has records that match teaching interests at the University such as dance, youth work, theatre and fashion.

Visiting the Archive

The DMU Archives and Special Collections are situated in room 00.21, which is on the lower ground floor of the Kimberlin Library near the journals.

Our opening hours are 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Staff and students are welcome to pop in within these hours.

If you have any questions please contact us on or call 0116 366 4200.

Using the Archive in your work

Here are some examples of how students have used the DMU Archives and Special Collections in their work:

  • Case study on a set of Victorian photographs

  • Inspiration from a collection of 1920s fashion illustrations

  • Using prospectuses and committee minutes for a study of the history of graphic design teaching

  • Studying postcards of historic Leicester for a history project

  • Copying maps and plans to inspire patterns on textiles


Entrance to the Archive room

On the lower ground floor of the Kimberlin Library

The Reading Room

Archives on the shelves

Useful links

The Archive collections are not listed on the DMU Library catalogue. Instead, please visit Archives Hub for detailed information about what we hold. See also the other tabs of this guide and the following sites:

  • Information about our work and our holdings is published on our blog.
  • Some material from the Archive can be viewed on Flickr.
  • Online exhibitions drawing on Archive material can be viewed here.


Any student wishing to gain experience of working with archives is welcome to discuss a placement with the Archivist.