A journey back to the 1960s (where I pretended for a short while to be in Mad Men)

In preparation for an upcoming journal stocktake in the spring, the serials team recently took the opportunity to visit the University of London depository in Egham, Surrey. The library stores its pre- 2010 journals at the depository, so if you’ve ever filled out one of our off-site request forms and wondered where the journals are kept, wonder no more!

Originally built in the 1950s (and not updated since the 1960s) the depository is located on the edge of The Royal Holloway University campus and looks rather like an old school building from the exterior which immediately sent me back to the days of PE lessons and kiss chase. Once inside, memories of school faded (thankfully!) as we were led into a beautiful 1960s lift (there’s no sound more satisfying than the whoosh of a closing concertina lift door) and then for a tour around a wonderful time warp of a building.

I don’t really think I can do the depository justice without some pictures:


As you can see the long corridors were mildly unsettling. As a vertigo sufferer the biggest worry were the steel walkways which allowed views of below (they also creaked and groaned alarmingly frequently!) However, check out the beautiful vintage shelf signage!






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I especially loved the old phones on the walls (complete with telephone lists), and of course I picked up the receiver and pretended to dial- who wouldn’t?!






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Even the kickstools were vintage!






To see a building so untouched was a fascinating experience and it was great to finally meet the lovely and helpful staff who so efficiently manage our material.

For more information about how to order material from the off-site store, click here: