Collection CAL - LIBRARY: Chelsea College administrative records

Key Information

Reference code



LIBRARY: Chelsea College administrative records


  • 1895-1987 (Creation)

Level of description



18 boxes and 10 volumes

Scope and content

Chelsea College Library records, 1895-1987, comprise papers collected by the College Library or describing the work of the Library on the Chelsea campus following the merger with King's College in 1985, notably correspondence with the College Secretary and departments, 1974-1980; papers relating to Library computerisation, 1979-1987; staffing and salary matters, 1978-1985; University Grants Committee papers on libraries, 1974-1982; History and Philosophy of Science Library correspondence and bibliography, 1964-1987; Chelsea Campus Libraries Users Committee notes, 1985-1987; finance, 1975-1977; concerning the College History Collection, 1965-1974; notes relating to building and planning at the King's Road site, 1971-1987; University of London merger and other papers, 1978-1983; reports on medical education in London, 1980; concerning Library private papers, 1949-1970; Library Annual Reports, 1963-1987 (1992/CAL, CAL/1986); correspondence concerning Library donors and Zoology reprints, 1967-1985 (Ref: 1986/CAL); accessions registers, 1921-1975 (Ref: CAL/RG); lists of current periodicals, 1960-1974 (Ref: CAL/RGJ); payments books for stock, equipment and expenses, 1960-1973 (Ref: CAL/CB); Library staff personnel files for leavers between 1970-1976 (Ref: CAL/FP); material concerning the history of the College accumulated by the Library, including charters, official reports, with some press cuttings, 1914-1981 (Ref: CAL/H).

System of arrangement

The collection is arranged into the main series outlined in the Scope and Content section.

General Information

Name of creator


Biographical history

Library provision at the South-Western Polytechnic was restricted to the availability of reading room space. Students were expected to use the adjacent Chelsea Public Library in order to consult books and periodicals. The inconvenience of this arrangement led to the creation of a Library Committee in 1921. The consequent library remained comparatively small until the post-World War Two expansion in provision that witnessed an increase in the number of titles from around 8000 in 1960 to 80,000 in 1970. These were divided between the Main Library, branch libraries situated on the principal College sites, and departmental collections of reference volumes. All of these were combined with the King's Library when the Colleges merged in 1985.

Custodial history

Chelsea College Library

Conditions governing access

Administrative records are generally closed for 20 years except for published material and some committee and other minutes.

Files containing personal data are closed for 80 years and sensitive personal data for 100 years from the date of the most recent document in the file.

Where open, access is subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied from open material for research purposes only.

Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Archives.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Finding aids

Detailed contents list is available for consultation in hard copy in the King's College London Archives Reading Room.

Existence and location of originals

Off-campus collection

Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus. Read more ›

Related materials

King's College London Library papers (Ref: KAL). The main Secretarial and Minute Book series for Chelsea College also cover the administration of the Library (Ref: CAS, CA/M); Title Deeds and Legal Documents, Press Cuttings (Ref: C/CSA, C/PC).

Related descriptions

Alternative identifier(s)

Place access points

Genre access points

Rules and/or conventions used

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000.


Archivist's note

Sources: H Silver and S J Teague eds, Chelsea College - A History (London, 1977). Entry compiled by Geoff Browell as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Accession area