Our Archives and Collections

The Eastern Arc universities are home to outstanding art collections, rare archives and unique repositories.

The radical founding principles of UEA, Essex and Kent allowed us to think differently about what should be preserved, and how it should be curated.

We had the freedom to focus on new areas of study, from political cartoons and stand-up comedy, to regional film-making and the art of Latin America. We also had the opportunity to think imaginatively about how objects and artefacts are brought together and displayed in the same space.

By doing so, we enabled our users to consider connections and commonality, the links that tie together our lives and our history, and the differences that highlight the contrasts, clashes and conflicts.

We are immensely proud of what we have achieved in bringing together our collections, and are indebted to those benefactors who have shared our vision and made significant donations.

As part of the work of Eastern Arc, we are exploring opportunities to widen and simplify access to these resources for all of those working and studying at our universities, and to enable those within our region to learn about and engage with the special collections we curate.

In time we hope to provide a single portal so that users can discover our digitised collections under one virtual roof. In the meantime this page offers a series of thematic windows that give light to the riches within via the drop-down headings below. You can also read case studies showing the ways different parts of our collections have been used by researchers and the public.

Archives and Special Collections Group

To guide us in this work, we have a group of colleagues who direct, advocate and facilitate joint working across the Consortium.

As part of its work, the group put in place a strategy: ‘Empower the East’.


To find out about each university’s collections, click on the links below or contact them directly via the emails given.


Archive or collection Contact
UEA Archives and Special Collections archives@uea.ac.uk 
The Sainsbury Centre: Art and Objects scva@uea.ac.uk
East Anglia Film Archive eafa@uea.ac.uk
Essex Art and Special Collections libline@essex.ac.uk
Kent Special Collections and Archives specialcollections@kent.ac.uk