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The University of Southampton
HistoryPart of Humanities


A number of unique resources are available to historians at Southampton. The Hartley Library is the largest university library in southern England, with extensive holdings of printed books and journals.

Primary sources are available for historical research
Archive collections

It holds more than 1.5 million books and subscribes to around 6,500 current periodicals. There are also many important sets of older periodicals, particularly from the mid-19th century, with complete or long runs of titles such as Mind (1876-) and Nature (1869-), the Gentleman's Magazine (1732-1906) and Blackwood's Magazine (1817-1933). The library has recently undergone a multi-million pound expansion and refurbishment, creating a new Archives and Special Collections facility and expanding floor-space by over 30 per cent.

The Hartley Library is also home to a substantial Archive Collection. These are particularly rich for the study of modern British and Imperial history, and include the Wellington papers, which contain the official political, military and diplomatic correspondence of the first Duke of Wellington, and part of the Melbourne papers. The Broadlands Archives include the Palmerston papers, the diaries of Lord Shaftesbury and the Mountbatten papers. The Ford Collection is one of the major national collections of British Parliamentary papers.

The University's archive also contains a run of the International Military Tribunal papers (the trials of the major war criminals at Nuremberg), and the subsequent Nuremberg Military Tribunal papers. Other special collections are the Cope Collection on the history of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, and the Perkins Collection on the agricultural history of Britain. There are also very strong holdings on medieval and early modern history, and on US and modern British history; micro-form holdings have been acquired to complement the major archive holdings in 19th- and 20th-century political history.

Probably the largest single concentration is the Parkes Library and Archive, a growing collection of printed and manuscript material, which has made Southampton one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe, closely connected with the Wiener Library in London. Associated with this is the Parkes Institute, which has an international reputation for the study of Jewish history and culture; most of its members are from History, and it has an active programme of associated seminars.

Postgraduate research based primarily on the University's archives and special collections is supported by an Archival Research Studentships (see the Scholarships section), one or more of which is available annually.

Southampton is one of the largest Jewish documentation centres in Europe
Jewish studies collections
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