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Ministry of Education collection

In 1992, The Independent reported that "a substantial part of one of the most valuable historic libraries of educational material in the country has been quietly sold off or dispersed."

We aim to rescue the most significant part of that library collection - the former Ministry of Education Library - which is still under threat of being scattered or sold abroad, and make it available to all enquirers at the Institute of Education.

The Ministry of Education Collection was built up between the 1820s (the beginning of state involvement in education in Britain) and 1970. It provides a record of the development of the education system and educational thinking in the UK, and also includes significant collections on 19th and 20th century developments in education in other parts of the world. In 1991, the Department for Education sold a substantial part of its historical holdings to a dealer.

The Institute of Education has now been offered first choice of these materials before they are put on the open market as individual lots.

If the collection is to be kept together and to remain in the UK, we need to raise money for the purchase of these materials. They will then need cataloguing to make them available to our users.

Please email for more information and to consider supporting this programme.