In this section of the Resource Hub, our aim is to facilitate access to Library and Archive resources which are freely accessible to OLIve course participants.  This page will document accessible resources available from the University of East London Library and Archive services as well as information on the provision of public library services in Newham and beyond.

Access to UEL Libraries and Archives

The University of East London has two physical libraries, one in Stratford and one in Docklands.

University of East London Stratford campus library address: UEL Stratford Campus, Water Lane, Stratford, London, E15 4LZ (Note: This is on the main Stratford Campus, not at University Square Stratford where the OLIve courses take place).

University of East London Docklands campus library address: UEL Docklands Campus, 4-6 University Way, London, E16 2RD.

Library Resources

Both our libraries contain books, journals, DVDs and archives on a range of subjects, including at Stratford:

  • Law
  • Business Studies
  • Psychology
  • Education and Teacher Training Courses
  • Theatre Studies and Performing Arts
  • Health and Biosciences
  • Research Methods Materials


Our Docklands Library includes resources on:

  • Social Sciences
  • Sports Studies / Sports Science
  • Architecture; Art; Computing and Engineering
  • Heritage; Narratives and Refugee Studies
  • Research Methods Materials

Both of our libraries at Stratford and Docklands will be open for extended opening hours during the week and at weekends. Please refer to the library web pages for latest information on opening hours.

For general library enquiries, please either email the library on (emails will be answered within one working day) or contact the library by phone on 020 8223 4646 (Stratford) or 020 8223 3434 (Docklands). The UEL Archivist, Paul Dudman, can also be contacted directly via email on or by telephone on 020 8223 7676 (direct line).

UEL Library Membership

We are pleased to say that participants on the OLIve course will have Reference Access to the UEL libraries. Our Stratford campus library may be the easier of the two for you to access. Tours of the Stratford campus library will be arranged at the start of each OLIve course.

Public Libraries in Newham

Stratford Public Library is your nearest public library to the OLIve course and is located in Stratford city centre at 3 The Grove, Stratford, London, E15 1EL. Their current opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9.30 am - 8 pm; Sunday 1 pm - 5 pm. Online resources are available via their website.

The Stratford Public Library is able to offer free wi-fi internet; access to computers; library activities, events and much more. The library is free for all to join. We have membership application forms available. You may either bring the completed forms on the day or scan over to us in advance so the card is created before the visit.

If you wish to join, Stratford Library has asked to see proof of name and address for each student who wishes to.

UEL Archive Resources

The purpose of this session is to introduce the archival collections held here at  the University of East London and to begin to consider and examine ways in which the archives may be useful for your own academic research projects.

What is an Archive? Definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary include:

  • Archive: (noun - A) A place in which collected public or corporate records are kept, a repository of documents.
  • (noun - B) Records so kept.
  • (verb) To place or store in an archive.

An archive will normally consist of primary source materials; namely records which are written at the time of the events they describe and which normally provide a first-hand account of the events being witnessed. Examples would include letters, diaries, minutes of meetings and account books. These materials are often created by individuals or institutions in the course of undertaking their daily work or private affairs, often without an awareness that they will eventually be stored within an archive. In essence, these are unpublished materials.

Libraries, by contrast, will usually consist of secondary source materials, like books and journals for example. These are normally written after the event and utilise the existing primary I materials in order to make observations and to draw conclusions. These are not based on direct observation and are usually written after the event. They often use primary sources in order to make observations and conclusions. Typical secondary sources include articles and books. These materials are often written with the intention they will be read by external readers. In contrast to the archive, this material is often written specifically for publication.

What is available in the UEL archive?

Our archive collections include:

  • The Refugee Archive Collections including the Refugee Council Archive; Northern Refugee Centre Archive, & UNHCR Audio-Visual Collection, CARA Archive.
  • British Olympic Association Archive & Library
  • Eastside Community Heritage Oral History Collection
  • UEL Institutional Archive
  • Hackney Empire Theatre Archive


The Refugee Archive includes:

  • Refugee Council Institutional Archive
  • Books
  • Journals, newsletters and magazines
  • Research reports
  • Grey literature, e.g. conference papers, reports and unpublished materials.
  • DVDs (published and off-air recordings)
  • Audio-visual materials
  • Press cuttings

The Refugee Council Archive, therefore, includes both an organically created selection of primary resource materials created during the course of the organisation's work, as well as an artificial special collection of thematic materials. The earliest materials in the collection date from 1951 onwards when the forerunners of the current organisation were established.

Visiting the archive

We would still recommend that you make an appointment if you need to use the archive on a certain day/time. To make an appointment, contact Paul Dudman on or 020 8223 7676.

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