Requesting Special Collections

All printed special collections, archive and manuscript material is kept in secure storage and is fetched by staff at the following times:

Monday to Friday: 10.00, 12.00, 14.30, 16.00.

One day’s notice is required for archives, manuscripts and artefacts.

There are no fetching services on Saturdays and Bank Holidays.

The majority of the Palaeography and Manuscript studies and Book Studies collections are available on the shelves in the Reading Room.

Back issues of Palaeography periodicals and journals are stored in the Main Library Stack and can be ordered through the Stack Fetching Service.


Requesting printed Special Collections

Printed special collections material can be ordered in advance by phone or email;; or, for existing members, requested via the Library Catalogue.

Where there is a ‘Book this item’ or ‘Book It’ option on an item’s catalogue record, click to select a date and time to view the item. The item will be fetched at the nearest regular fetch time and will be reserved in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Requests can also be made by completing a request slip in the Special Collections Reading Room. The item will be retrieved at the next fetch time.

Requests for evenings should be made by 4 pm and for Saturdays by 4 pm the preceding day.


Requesting Archives and Manuscripts

All requests for archives and manuscripts require at least one working day’s notice.  Material for consultation on Saturdays or evenings must be requested by 4 pm the preceding day.

Any requests received after this time will be dealt with the following working day (and archives therefore produced for the day after that).

Material should be requested at item or file level.  This is indicated on Archive and Manuscript Catalogue entries.

Whole collections or series of files will not be produced and up to six files or items are fetched at one time.


Archive and Manuscript requests

These can be made in advance by email:, phone, or in person by completing a request slip in the Special Collections Reading Room.