People sitting in the archives reading room using material

Collection experts

Making the most of our collections

Our team of curators can help you use our heritage collections in your research or teaching.

Research advice 

Our curators are here to help you use archives and primary source material. They can provide you with specialised support when you are using this material in your papers or dissertations. 

You can access the team by:

  • getting in touch by email for advice or to arrange a consultation - mention you'd like to talk to a curator
  • dropping into the reading room on the 4th floor - a curator is usually available between 2 and 4pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

Sign up to training based on our collections through the Library's training programme and through LSE LIFE.  

Support for teaching and learning


Enhance the learning of your students by using archives and other heritage collections in your teaching. We can host a variety of group learning activities drawing on our collections.

We run sessions in the Library’s Teaching and Activity Room, which can accommodate up to 20 students. We are happy to discuss alternative arrangements with you if this space is not suitable.

Lord Beveridge walking out of a building holding his hat
Lord Beveridge, LSE Director 1919-1937

Introductory sessions

Our curators work with course tutors to deliver introductory sessions to our collections. The aim of these sessions is to introduce students to primary sources and the skills and knowledge required to use them effectively.

We can work with you to design sessions that meet your requirements. These sessions often include:

  • a general introduction to our collections
  • a hands-on activity, providing an opportunity for students to practice evaluating and interpreting archival material
  • a demonstration of our online catalogues, to enable students to identify material that might be relevant to their interests
  • guidance on how to handle archival material
  • information on how to plan a visit to an archive

We offer two types of session. One is a general session that gives a broad overview of our collections as a whole. The other focuses on particular collections or themes (eg The Women’s Library collection, LGBT+ history). 

Group visits

We can host group visits for you and your students to look at primary sources. These visits can focus on a variety of things such as an event, theme or person.

By using original sources in your teaching you can improve the experience of your students. We've found that sessions help students develop academic and transferable skills such as:

  • analytical skills
  • critical thinking
  • practical observation
  • team work
  • communication

Sessions have also triggered original and innovative dissertation topics. 

We have a standard selection of material that we can use at these sessions. We are happy to work with you to select items that support your particular requirements as well. We are also able to help you create new or enhanced training materials for your students.

Malinowski watching a group of children, Trobriand Islands, c1915
Malinowski watching a group of children, Trobriand Islands, c1915

Display items

We can bring an iconic text or document to your class or lecture, as an inspirational starting point. For example, William Beveridge’s first draft of the ‘Beveridge Report’ or Bronislaw Malinowski’s field-work photographs.