We actively work with departments to encourage students to use the rare and unique material held in our cultural collections. This is of particular importance to students working on final year dissertation projects in the arts and humanities.
To improve support for students undertaking independent research, we have invested over £800,000 in new online primary source material. We paid particular attention to the needs that students and tutors identified, and to broadening the range of perspectives available in our collections.
In 2021/22 a major building project refurbished and extended the Brotherton Research Centre – the research and teaching space for our rich cultural and special collections. This space was designed so that students could benefit from the unique opportunities that special collections provide for research projects.
The new teaching spaces are highly effective, increasing access for students and staff alike. Academic colleagues can now directly engage students with the cultural collections in their teaching. For example, in 2022 every first-year history undergraduate had at least one session using primary materials in the Brotherton Research Centre.
Students can access digitisation tools to create digital images for study and group work. Rooms with hybrid audio-visual equipment are also available, offering the potential for a group in the research centre and a remote group to collaborate and work with the collections.