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Our services

Discover our collections in a quiet study environment and make the most of our content with support from our professional team.

Special Collections and Archives Reading Room
Reading Room

Rare books

We hold rare books dating back to the 15th century. We provide foam supports and lead weights for use with the book collections. Our staff can explain how to use these reading aids, and provide general handling guidance.

Our online library catalogue can help you find items you may wish to view.


We hold large collections of archives (unique, unpublished material, such as letters and diaries). If you would like to consult these collections, please make an appointment in advance.

Please allow extra time for us to process uncatalogued archives. They may be affected by data protection restrictions and require screening before access is permitted. The archives catalogue will indicate whether or not a collection is catalogued.

Digital copies

You are welcome to take photographs using your own camera or mobile phone, subject to completion of a copyright declaration. Alternatively, a digital camera is available for loan in the reading room.

If you are unable to visit us in person, you may order digital photographs of our collections.

Research and enquiry service

Our librarians and archivist can assist you when searching within both Special Collections and Archives and wider library and archive information sources. Charges may apply for extensive research requests (details on application).

Teaching support

Could our collections help support your modules? Our 20-seat seminar room, with audio-visual display facilities, is available for bookings. We will work with you to select a range of suitable sources for students to examine in an interactive seminar environment. Please contact us if you would like to discuss your requirements.