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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.

Contact us to book a virtual consultation, request a photo of an item, or with any enquiries.

Our Research Centre is open to a limited number of researchers for in-person visits, see how to plan and book your visit.

Digitised parts of the collection are available online and can be searched, browsed and filtered through our advanced search.

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.

Find out about our most important collections.

More on Our collections

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

More on Subject themes

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

More on Research spotlights

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

More on Plan your visit

Handling books and manuscripts

More on Handling books and manuscripts

Opening hours

More on Opening hours

Restricted access

More on Restricted access

Digitisation and copying

More on Digitisation and copying

Family and local history research

More on Family and local history research

For staff

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.

More on Teaching support

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.

More on Research support

Blog

Zoe Wolstenholme, Archivist, and Claire Morton, Research Centre Manager, write at the start of lockd... More on Researcher requests – moving online during lockdown
We are delighted to announce the installation of the recent sculpture ‘The Worlds of If’ by... More on To explore new worlds
Ruth Burton, archivist for the Herbert Read project, writes about the enthralling letters of Herbert... More on ‘An affair of letters?’ The correspondence of Herbert Read and Margaret Ludwig