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Library News

What is Special Collections and Archives?

by University of Liverpool Library on 2021-10-04T15:40:00+01:00 | Comments

Students in the reading room using Special Collections and Archives materials

What is Special Collections and Archives?

Special Collections and Archives cares for and makes available in perpetuity the unique and distinctive historic collections of the University of Liverpool. This includes printed books, pamphlets and manuscripts dating from the 12th to the 21st century; Europe’s largest catalogued collection of Science Fiction material (including the Science Fiction Foundation Collection); and nearly two miles of archives, including collections such as the University of Liverpool Archive and the Cunard Archive.

You can find out more information on the Collections Highlights A-Z.

How can Special Collections and Archives help with your research?

Special Collections and Archives offers bespoke one-to-one support for University of Liverpool students.

The team can:

  • Help you to understand what material is held within Special Collections and Archives, and why it is held within this department rather than within the main lending library
  • Help you to use the catalogues in order to locate material relevant to your research
  • Help you to book an appointment in the Reading Room to access material

Please contact the team at for further information and to arrange to chat to a member of the team (please note that these sessions do not include the consultation of primary sources). 

Find out more about how Special collections and Archives can support your research

How can Special Collections and Archives help with your teaching?

Special Collections and Archives offers support for University of Liverpool academic staff by providing opportunities for students to engage with primary sources within dedicated sessions that may be embedded into modules.

All sessions include an introductory overview provided by a member of the team. The overview will introduce the Special Collections and Archives service, the available collections, and a demonstration of how to use the library/archives catalogues. The team can also design the introductory overview to fit the individual needs of the students and a member of the team will be on hand throughout the session to provide guidance on aspects such as handling rare books/archival material.

If you wish to consult Special Collections and Archives material during the session, academics can book the the SC&A Wolfson Teaching Room for sessions of up to six students (maximum room capacity is eight to allow for 1m+ social distancing).

Booking a visit at Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives is based on the ground floor Grove Wing of the Sydney Jones Library. If you know what materials from Special Collections and Archives you’d like to consult, the Reading Room is open Tuesday-Friday and appointment slots are available to book online.

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