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Special Collections & Archives: Adding to our Collectionsaccredited archive service logo

SC&A includes manuscripts and archives, medieval to modern; early and finely printed books, and science fiction collections.

Adding to our Collections 

Rolling stacks full of archive boxes. Broadly, we seek to collect material relating to the University of Liverpool and affiliated institutions and material that enhances existing collections in Special Collections and Archives.

Particular collection strengths include:

  • University of Liverpool archive (institutional history; papers of former staff & students)
  • Cunard Archive
  • Science Fiction collections (printed and archival)
  • Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts
  • Modern Literary manuscripts, especially those with a connection to Merseyside
  • Incunables and early printed books
  • Gypsy Lore Society collections
  • Children’s Literature and the history of education
  • Social & political history, e.g. papers of Rathbone family, Josephine Butler and Lord Owen.
  • 18th -19th century printed collections related to Liverpool.[WB1] 

For more information please read our Collection Development and Management Policy (PDF).

Donating Material

If you would like to donate material that you think would complement our existing collections then we welcome you to contact us. Please follow these steps:

  1. Consult the Collection Development and Management Policy (PDF) to establish whether the material you wish to donate corresponds with our collection areas.
  2. Read the Conditions of Donation (PDF) document.
  3. Email us at with information about the material you wish to donate. Useful information would include a brief description of content, format, extent and date of the item(s), as well as details such as when and how the material came into your possession.
  4. The information you provide will be passed to the relevant team member to consider and the team will respond within five working days.

Although we cannot accept all the material that is offered to us, we may be able to suggest other repositories that would be a more suitable home for your items.

Transferring Material

If the team at Special Collections and Archives accept your items as an addition to the collections and you would like to deposit them then please follow these steps:

  1. Complete the Conditions of Donation (PDF) form.
  2. Package items, ensuring that they are well protected for transit. For archival materials, keep the items in the original folders and wherever possible try to maintain the order in which you or the original owner actively used the records.
  3. Contact the Special Collections and Archives team who will arrange a date for you to drop the materials off in person or provide you with the postal address. Special arrangements can be made for the transfer of larger amounts of material, which may include collection where feasible, and/or reimbursement of reasonable costs.
  4. Whether you deliver the items by post or in person, include your completed ‘Conditions of Donation’ form.