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Special Collections: Home

The Materials Room

The Materials Room is home to the MDX special collections related to art and design. The Room is normally open during term time, Monday-Friday, 12 - 3 PM - although there may be teaching in the room, especially in the Autumn term. See below for weekly opening hours. You can find it in the Basement of the Sheppard Library, Hendon. Please contact us if you have any queries or would like to make an appointment for a time outsde the standard opening hours:

Welcome to the Materials Room!

This video is slightly out of date regarding the Librarians and the opening hours but provides a great introduction to the Materials Room.

The Fashion Collection

        Victorian bodice

The Fashion Collection is a collection of clothes, accessories, fabrics, and haberdashery items from Victorian times to the present day. This collection of about 2,000 items was put together by a previous head of Fashion, Julian Robinson over 40 years ago. The various garments and accessories were acquired by purchase and donation and include dresses, coats, capes, shoes, hats and haberdashery from Victorian, Edwardian periods through to the 1970s. We have added to the Collection with more recent acquisitions. The Collection is kept in the Materials Room. 

The Collection is kept in the Materials Room (Sheppard Library, Basement) and is usually open from 12pm-3pm Monday to Friday during term-time.  If you can't visit the room between these hours you may be able to book an appointment by contacting Objects from the collection can be studied or photographed in the Materials Room or may be borrowed by members of staff.

Mini Photo Studio

We now have a small photographic box (60x60x60cm) so you can take high quality pictures of items in the Materials Room. Please ask about this when you visit the room, or email to book it in advance.

You can change the background colour, and dim or diffuse the lighting to achieve the effects you need.

Introduction to the Materials Room in 10 objects

Special Collections: in brief

This home page gives an overview of the special collections available in the Sheppard Library's Materials Room, and at MoDA (Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture).  You can click on the tabs above or links below to get more information.

The collections included are:

Special Books Collection

The Special Books Collection is a small library of books which for reasons of age, rarity, fragility or special format are kept separately.  The titles include many artists' books and the fashion publication Visionaire. Click here for more information about the Special Books Collection.


Image of zine
Zine by Danie

We have an amazing collection of zines in the Materials Room. For more information about these, click here.

Comics Collection

Image of comics

The Sheppard Library holds an amazing collection of vintage and contemporary comics, showing a wide range of graphic styles.  There are children's, underground publications sci-fi and manga, and many others.  This collection is available in the Materials Room which is in the Basement of the Sheppard Library. 

Click here for more information about the Comics Collection.

Samples Collection

Image of product samples

This is a broad ranging collection of manufacturers' product samples.

Items include fabrics, glass, plastics, wire mesh, marble, paper, paint and laminates. The information is arranged in categories and items may be borrowed from this collection for two weeks.

Click here for more information about the Samples Collection.

Illustrated Books

Image of pop-up book

The Illustrated Book Collection

This has a wide range of historical and contemporary illustrated books, for children and adults. It is available in the Basement of the Sheppard Library and is arranged by illustrator. The books can be searched for on the library catalogue. Click here for more information.