Colonial History Collections

Find out more about Colonial History Collections in the IHR Wohl Library. We collect printed primary sources and guides to finding and using them. This page will show examples of the wealth of material we hold.  


The colonial collection covers general exploration and European colonisation and includes a significant number of travel journals. The collection of sources for the colonial history of North America is one of the best in the UK.

The division of the library into a colonial classification (classmarks beginning C) and national collections mean that relevant collections may be in different sections of the library, for example:

The Colonial collection classification scheme is subdivided as below. Sections in bold are on open shelves, others can be requested. You can search the catalogue by classmark.

  • CB  Bibliography
  • CG  General Works (mostly open shelves Floor 3)
  • CL  Area Collections:
    • CLA  America (open shelves America room Floor 2)
    • CLB   Africa
    • CLC   Asia
    • CLD   Australasia
    • CLE   Other Areas (This covers the Polar regions, Space exploration and miscellaneous territories).
  • CP  Periodicals