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Special Collections

A close up image of an illuminated manuscript from Special Collections

Special Collections

Special Collections

Leeds University Library’s Special Collections is the home of hundreds of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, archives and art. Our collections offer a rich resource for staff, students, and the wider research community.

Explore our collections

Find out about our most important collections, discover what we have to offer for students and researchers from various subject disciplines and explore our historic items in detail.

Gloved hands holding a compass

Find out about our most important collections.

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A row of books and an ipad on a shelf

Introductions to our collections by subject, and advice on how they can support various subject researchers.

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A book being photographed for digitisation

Guest authors explore items from Special Collections in depth and examine their research potential

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Using collections

Everyone is welcome to come to visit us and use our Special Collections. Find out what you need to know about visiting, handling materials and making use of our copying and digitisation services.

Plan your visit

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Handling books and manuscripts

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Opening hours

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Restricted access

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Digitisation and copying

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Family and local history research

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For staff

A man at a desk reading a from a piece of paper.

We support teaching through teaching sessions, research seminars, and group study sessions. You can also download one of our teaching packs or use our online resources in your teaching.

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Doorway to Special Collections

Researchers at all levels are welcome to use our resources, and we actively encourage the use of Special Collections material as the main subject of academic research.

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