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The Open University Archive

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The University Archive holds historical materials of the Open University and unique research collections.

The collections include materials relating to the history of the University and research collections relevant to many fields of research, in particular: modern political history, distance education, history of management, history of mathematics and systems behaviour.

The Open University Digital Archive (OUDA)

The Open University Digital Archive helps to manage and preserve digital and digitised OU archive content, as well as making materials more widely accessible. Visit OUDA to explore online collections of material, including over 160 historical OU images, over 30 full information programmes originally broadcast to support students, online exhibitions and featured items and selected clips from OU module programmes.

Visit The Open University Digital Archive

Accessing Archive Materials

You will need to make an appointment with the University Archive team to view the collections.



University Archive
Library Services
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

The Open University Special Collections

Edward Brech collection

Dr Edward Brech was the first person in Britain to achieve a doctorate in British management history. He donated his personal archive of papers and books to the Open University.

Fauvel collection

John Fauvel's collection of around 2,500 books, including rare 17th, 18th & 19th century texts is held by the OU Archive on behalf of the British Society for the History of Mathematics.

Geoffrey Vickers collection

Draft material and correspondence relating to Sir Geoffrey's published works, articles & speeches on social systems analysis and the complex patterns of social organisation.

Jennie Lee collection

Jennie Lee was instrumental in the foundation of the Open University as Minister for the Arts. Her papers contain material regarding both her personal and political life.

Maureen Oswin collection

Research notes and publications from Maureen Oswin's (1931 - 2001) research on the care of children with severe learning disabilities. 

Historical materials of the Open University

The University Archive contains a number of historical collections about the Open University.

Walter Perry collection

Lord Perry of Walton (1921-2003) was the first Vice-Chancellor of the Open University (1969-1979). The collection contains papers relating to his work for the OU.

British Institute of Management collection

The BIM Collection represents the published materials of the British Institute of Management from its foundation in 1947 to 1992.

The Open University Archive

Collections include the history of the University and research in modern political history, distance education, history of management, history of mathematics and systems behaviour.

Police collections

Collections related to the history of policing. Originally collected by the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research within the Arts Faculty at the OU.

Betty Boothroyd collection

Betty Boothroyd, Chancellor of the OU from 1994-2006, donated a collection of papers to the University Archive, from her time as Speaker and covering other political work.

OU study materials

The University Archive holds a comprehensive collection of study materials created by the OU dating back to 1971.

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