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Kingston University Library

Library of the Week: 6th February : Kingston University Library! Find out more about the library and their collections, the Town House building, the Archives and how the library is marking LGBT+ History Month. Thank you to the brilliant Library and Learning Services at Kingston University for taking part.

Library and Learning Services at Kingston University provide libraries across four campus locations in and around Kingston upon Thames (South West London). Across these locations provision is made for the wide diversity of Kingston University’s staff and students including over 13,000 home/European students, and 3,600 overseas students from more than 140 countries.

The collections cover a breadth of disciplinary areas to support courses in the four faculties of the university: Kingston School of Art, Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, Faculty of Health, Science, Social Care and Education and Faculty of Engineering, Computing and the Environment.

Town House

We were delighted that on 6 January 2020 the library at our Penrhyn Road campus moved into the new Town House building. The Town House was an exciting project for us, and provides more study space, improved layout and facilities, including lots of natural light. The building contains teaching studios for dance, space for events, a covered courtyard, two cafes and two roof gardens. The Town House is a place to learn and connect with easy access to our collections, both printed and digital, with excellent IT facilities and connectivity. It was named the winner of the 2021 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize – confirming it as Britain’s best new building in that year, and it went on to win the EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award, the highest accolade in European architecture – the first time a university building has won the prize.

Archives in Town House

Cary Ellison exhibition: Photo credit to Jessica Ballard

It took a bit longer to move our Archives into the Town House, we finally accomplished that task in January 2023. So on the 27th January 2023 we had two reasons to celebrate – the completion of the move, and the successful culmination of a National Lottery Heritage Fund project to conserve and promote one of our unique collections – the Cary Ellison Theatre Programme Collection. A relaunch event was held in Town House to chart the work undertaken during the project and applaud our collaborators, including Anstee Bridge, Kingston Young Carers and the U3A, for their contributions to many shared learning activities. The joyful event saw the family of Cary Ellison unveil an exhibition and a selection of speakers talk about their work exploring the highlights of the collection. This event illustrated perfectly the flexibility of the space for many purposes including welcoming members of the community and researchers from beyond Kingston University and showcasing our collections.

LGBT+ History Month 2023 

Library and Learning Services are also marking LGBT+ History Month. In collaboration with the LGBTQIA+ Staff Network we are hosting visiting Professor Caryn Franklin to talk to us about her new book – Skewed: Decoding media bias, co-written with Professor Keon West. Caryn will speak on cultural messaging around identity which may include race, gender, gender non-conformity, sexual orientation, age, and attractiveness, and why our brains are complicit in upholding stereotypes and bias.

The library has also purchased new reading materials on LGBT+ topics and has displays around the building.

Library and Learning Services at Kingston University

All images copyright of Kingston University reproduced with kind permission of the copyright holder.

You can explore the library’s collections on Discover and find further contact details on their Discover information page.

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