Library and Archives

The King's College Library has been in continuous existence since the foundation of the College in 1441. As well as preserving many rare book and manuscript treasures, the Library and Archive Centre together serve the current needs of undergraduate, graduate and senior members of the College. Among our special collections are the archives of important literary figures of the twentieth century, including the papers of T.S. Eliot, E. M. Forster, and key members of the Bloomsbury group. Donations will enable us to continue to acquire important items relating to these collections and to catalogue and conserve them.

The Munby Centenary Fund

The Munby Centenary Fund was established in 2013 as a permanent tribute to Tim Munby, the Librarian of King's from 1947 to 1974. Alongside his role as Librarian, Munby was a pioneer in British book collecting and the use of sale catalogues to trace the history of taste in books. His work brought sale catalogues into the academic domain as important literary and historical documents worthy of study.

The initial objective of the Munby Fund is to complete the online cataloguing of all of the books in the collection of John Maynard Keynes, and generous donations have already made it possible to hire Dr Iman Javadi to begin carrying out this work.

The Fund’s next objective will be to support the Modern Archives, which were created by Munby during his time at King's. With administrative records dating back to the College's foundation in 1441, and records of estates granted by King Henry VI dating back to the 11th century, there are many conservation requirements for the College Archives. These documents are our College's memory and its future resource, but their physical condition is far from secure. Some volumes are steadily deteriorating, and some maps cannot be produced for researchers because they are too fragile to handle. A conservation programme for cleaning, repairing, re-housing, and re-binding is already place, but we would like to ask for your support in continuing this vital work.

Examples of funding opportunities within the Modern Archives include:

  • £30,000 will pay for the completion of the College Archive catalogue by funding a one-year post for a full-time cataloguer
  • £2,500 will pay for one week of intensive cleaning of the College Archives by professional Conservators
  • £1,000 will pay for the de-acidification, paper repair, and re-binding of one volume in the Commons Book series of accounts, which date from 1447
  • £350 will pay for parchment repairs and cleaning of one of many damaged estate maps
  • £300 will pay for the de-acidification, repair, and encapsulation in clear melinex sleeves of 10 letters sent to Provosts and Bursars, 1519-1797, relating to the resignation of Fellowships, financing the Gibbs' Building, or administration of estate lands.
CAF Online

If you are able to contribute any sum, large or small, please contact the Archivist for further information. In return, your gift will be acknowledged in the College's Annual Report, the conserved document will have a name-plate acknowledging the source of the donation, and you will receive a detailed conservation report on the work undertaken.

Rupert Brooke Collection

We are pleased to have received a major award of £430,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to enable the purchase of the John Schroder collection of Rupert Brooke manuscripts. This gives the College a wonderful opportunity to secure the largest Brooke collection in private hands. Another £70,000 is needed, and individual donations to help achieve this target will be gratefully received and acknowledged.

For more information about the Rupert Brooke collection, please contact the Archivist.