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Special Collections & Archives: Visiting & Usingaccredited archive service logo

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

Visting us

Who can access SCA?People studying in SCA researcher reading room

Special Collections and Archives is open to all bona-fide researchers by prior appointment. 

If you are a University of Liverpool academic or student, please also see our Support for Teaching and Research webpage. This webpage includes information on booking the SC&A Wolfson Teaching Room for teaching sessions.

How to book an appointment slot

To visit the SCA service, you must make an appointment and confirm the material you wish to consult in advance. 

Request to use the SC&A Reading Room

Appointment Regulations

The service is open Tuesday to Friday. 

Appointments must be requested by 4pm at least 3 working days in advance of the intended appointment date. However, we recommend booking as far in advance as possible to secure your chosen appointment date(s).  

Appointments provide you with access to the Reading Room for the full opening hours on your approved date(s). The opening hours are 10am-1pm and 2-4pm. You may arrive at a time convenient to you. The latest admittance to the Reading Room is 3:30pm.

There are four seats available in the Reading Room at any one time. 

The SCA service is closed between 1pm-2pm for staff lunch, therefore if you have arrived in the morning you will be asked to leave the department during this hour.
There is a café on site, situated on the ground floor of the Sydney Jones Library, plus several other cafés, shops and seating areas within a short distance of the Library.

One person may attend each appointment. Appointment date(s) for multiple persons are unavailable at present. 


If you have been advised that the material you wish to consult is available on microfilm/microfiche, the microfilm reader is available in two hour slots and each appointment slot allows access between 10am-12pm or 2pm-4pm, Tuesday to Friday. 

If you are interested in viewing microfilm or microfiche material from the Sydney Jones Library holdings, please contact prior to submitting a booking request, in order to ensure that the material may be delivered to Special Collections and Archives.


How to request material 

When requesting your appointment slot(s) via the booking form provided, please also provide the reference numbers, titles, dates and any further applicable information (such as issue no. or volume) of the material you wish to consult. 

This information may be located via the online catalogues. Library Search contains records for all printed material, and there are online finding aids for archives and manuscripts. More information on searching the catalogues effectively is provided on the Support for Teaching and Research webpage. 

We require this information with advance notice as we operate a closed access service, whereby material is retrieved from the stores prior to your visit. No further retrievals are conducted during your appointment visit.

We can facilitate the viewing of up to approximately three archival boxes of material or six bound volumes per appointment slot. This is dependent upon the size and condition of the specific material requested for your appointment. SCA staff will be happy to advise in advance of your appointment if your request has reached/exceeded the limit. This limit is in place to ensure that all material may be quarantined for 72 hours before being safely returned to the stores.

Large format material (such as plans and oversized material) may be unavailable to consult in the Reading Room at present. SCA staff will be happy to advise further. 

If you require any assistance in locating the reference numbers of the material you wish to consult, please do not hesitate to contact us via email (

Reading Room Regulations

Reading Room Regulations

Special Collections and Archives is based in the Sydney Jones Library. Please bring proof of your appointment with you (e.g. your email confirmation), as this may be required to gain access to the Sydney Jones Library building.

SCA material is consulted in the Reading Room, which includes power sockets and wireless internet access (via eduroam or Guestnet).

  • All readers must abide by the Reading Room Regulations and Handling Guidelines for the duration of their appointment.
  • Please wash your hands before visiting SCA. Facilities are available in the main foyer area of the Sydney Jones Library. Hand sanitiser is available in the SCA Reception but prohibited in the Reading Room. Please ensure hand sanistiser has evaporated before handing material.
  • On arrival at SCA, please leave belongings in the secure foyer (intercom access). A locker is provided free of charge. A member of the team will advise your locker number on arrival.
  • You may bring a pencil, paper/notepad, laptop/tablet, and a mobile phone (switched to silent) into the Reading Room. SCA is unable to lend equipment at present.
  • Once you have placed your belongings in the lockers, please proceed into the Reception area and present photographic I.D to SCA staff. Markers are provided on the floor to promote effective social distancing.
  • A member of the team will ensure the material is set-up on the specialist book rests and provide book weights where necessary. 
  • Material must not be leaned on, written on, or marked in any way.
  • Food and drink must not be consumed in the Reading Room.
  • Permission is required to photograph any items. Please inform SCA staff prior to taking any photographs and disable the flash function on your device. Tripods and scanners are prohibited.
  • The Reading Room is a silent study area. Please switch any personal devices to silent mode.
  • SCA staff are on hand to assist with document handling throughout your visit. Please do not hesitate to request assistance if required.
  • Once your visit is complete, please leave all SCA material and completed paperwork in the Reading Room. 





Please contact us via email ( with enquiries regarding the collections and staff will be happy to advise further wherever possible. 

The SCA team are doing their best to answer enquiries as quickly as possible, however our current response rate is up to ten working days.



SCA offers an in-house reprographics service (subject to a fee and available for up to 100 scans). 

To enquire about ordering copies of SCA material, please contact us and provide the reference number(s) and any other applicable information (title, date, vol.). SCA staff will retrieve the material from the stores and check the material is suitable to be copied; if we are able to proceed, a member of the team will then reply with the total cost and a copy of the SCA Copying Request Form. 

Copying services are available subject to copyright regulations, but please note that the physical condition and size of an item may prohibit any copying. 

All reprographics orders for copies of SCA materials are carried out by SCA staff, with the exception of self-service digital photography (permission required). 

All orders will be processed promptly, but readers should expect to wait up to 20 working days for orders to be completed on receipt of payment.



If you wish to use any images from Special Collections & Archives in print or electronic publications, a licence is required, for which there may be a further charge. Please contact us to enquire about publishing images of SCA material. 

Contact us


Opening Times

Saturday & Sunday - Closed


How to find us

The Special Collections & Archives reception area and reading room is on the ground floor of the Grove Wing, Sydney Jones Library.

The Sydney Jones Library is building 423 on the University campus map.

The physical address is: Sydney Jones Library, Chatham Street, Liverpool, L69 7WZ.

While the postal address is: Special Collections and Archives, Sydney Jones Library, University of Liverpool, PO BOX 123, Liverpool, L69 3DA .

For information on directions, public transport and car parking please see Visiting the University webpage.