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About our catalogue

This catalogue contains:

  • summary descriptions of all our archive collections, including a wide range of collections relating to British political and economic history, The Women's Library archive collections, the Hall-Carpenter Archives, and the institutional archives of the London School of Economics.

  • detailed catalogues for around 60% of our archive collections. These collections contain a range of different types of material, including minutes, letters, diaries, memoranda and other unpublished papers, photographs and posters. They also contain some pamphlets, journals and books. However the main catalogue for publications is Library Search.

  • The Women's Library museum objects collection, which includes photographs, postcards, posters, banners and 3D objects

We add new records to the catalogue on a regular basis, as and when collections are catalogued.

A small number of records are linked to digital images. The majority of digital collections are available on our Digital Library, our Flickr stream and Charles Booth's London.

Statement on Language in Archival Description

We aim to use inclusive and respectful language when describing archival material and to ensure that our descriptions do not perpetuate the oppression of any marginalised groups or communities represented in our collections.

Original terms found in archival documents have been reproduced in descriptions throughout the catalogue – in titles and file names, for example – and this practice can result in the cataloguer repeating an offensive term. As the language used by creators of archival material can provide information about those people and organisations, terminology that exists within documents is retained in order to provide an accurate representation and to preserve the integrity and original context of the records.

Staff now follow cataloguing guidance to indicate that any offensive words or phrases included in descriptions originate from the documents rather than the cataloguer, eg, by using quotation marks. Where we are aware of the existence of problematic language in legacy descriptions, we will review the record, update language if it has been created by the cataloguer and/or provide a content warning and further context where appropriate.

We acknowledge our responsibility to address the presence of discriminatory and offensive language in our catalogue and the effect this language can have on those accessing the records. We encourage you to notify us if you encounter problematic description in the catalogue which you would like us to review.

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