A collage of portrait images of five famous suffrage campaigners

Historical resources

Explore the historical archives and special collections available at LSE Library.

LSE archives

Our archive collections focus on modern British political and economic history, in particular the work of pressure groups, think-tanks and campaigners. They also cover the development of social science in Britain, in particular the history of LSE.

Some of the collection highlights include:

  • The Women’s Library – gender equality pressure groups and campaigners covering the history of feminism from the late 19th century onwards.
  • LGBT+ collections – including the Hall-Carpenter Archives which are particularly strong on campaigns for gay rights from the 1950s onwards.
  • Charles Booth archive – an influential inquiry into poverty in London in the late 1800s.
  • Welfare and social security – including the “discovery of poverty” in the late 19th century, the welfare reforms of the early-mid 20th century, the Beveridge report, and the Child Poverty Action Group.
  • Peace and internationalism – pressure groups, activists, international organisations and individuals working for peace, disarmament and greater international cooperation from the late 19th century to the present day.
  • Britain and Europe – in particular the development in Britain in the 1930s of ideas about a Federal Europe, campaigns for/against Britain’s involvement from the 1950s onwards
  • LSE History – archives in relation to the history and development of social science in Britain and the LSE, including the School’s institutional archives. 
A woman talking at a microphone in front of a CND banner
Pat Arrowsmith, peace activist and prominent member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Online resources 

We provide access to many historical online resources. Here are some examples:

  • LSE Digital Library to access newly digitsed collections.
  • Charles Booth's London provides access to the Poverty Maps and Police Notebooks from the late 19th century study of London.
  • Chatham House Online Archive contains the publications and archives of the Royal Institute of International Affairs.
  • Archives of Sexuality & Gender illuminates the experiences of the LGBTQ community including individuals of different races, ethnicities, ages, religions and political orientations.
  • Empire Online is a collection of primary source materials including diaries and travel logs relating to Empire Studies.
  • Mass Observation Online provides a unique insight into life in Britain between 1937 and 1950.
  • Churchill archive includes private letters, speeches and other key historical documents.
  • Stalin digital archive makes available around 28,000 documents pertinent to Stalin's personal biography, his work in government and his conduct of foreign affairs.
Find out more