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DMU's Special Collections wins national accreditation

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)’s Special Collections has been awarded Archive Service Accreditation in recognition of its work to develop, preserve and improve access to nationally important material.

DMU’s archives span 1474 to the present day, and encompass DMU’s history as an institution from its first days as Leicester School of Art in 1870. Special Collections also holds materials relating to sports, arts, performance, and fashion history as well as items on the history of Leicester.

DMU-150 years pre pics-2919

Accredited status is a national quality mark which is awarded by the UK Archive Service, representing the entire archive sector. To gain accreditation, applicants have to demonstrate proper management, resourcing, outline the care of collections and demonstrate how different users can access its materials.

Katharine Short, Special Collections manager, has built up the archive service from scratch since she arrived at DMU in 2013. She said: “It has been a privilege to steer the development of the archive to this point.

“The archives team have acquired archive collections of national significance, launched inspiring teaching and student volunteering programmes, been instrumental in the development of DMU’s Heritage Centre and Stephen Lawrence Research Centre, and spearheaded the recent 150th anniversary celebrations.

“We are thrilled to have achieved Accredited status.  This award validates our hard work to date and gives us a useful roadmap for the future.”

Foxs Glavier

The archives cared for by the Special Collections team include:

•    The Stephen Lawrence Archive, donated by former Chancellor Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE

•    The Andrew Davies Archive, a collection of letters correspondence and drafts from the acclaimed writer

•    The archive of England Boxing which dates from 1880

•    The Ski Club of Great Britain archive

•    Film star scrapbooks from the Golden Age of Hollywood

•    Papers from Fox’s Confectionery, makers of Fox’s Glacier Mints which were produced in Leicester

•    Papers of artist Andrew Logan, founder of Alternative Miss World


The Archive Service Accreditation Panel praised DMU’s special collections team on their “effective and ambitious” service. They added: “Much progress has been made in a short space of time and through that activity, Special Collections has developed into a real asset to the university in multiple areas, particularly teaching, learning and the student experience.”

DMU’s Special Collections is part of the Directorate of Library and Learning Services, and contributes to the support of learning, teaching and research across the university. It is open to staff, students, researchers and the public and has well-established teaching and volunteering programmes alongside a vibrant outreach programme.

Posted on Monday 22nd March 2021

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