Leeds University Library

Looking at materials

people using Special Collections Reading Room

All material is reference only, to be consulted in our reading room. You can view up to three items at a time. 

Handling books and manuscripts

The material in Special Collections is valuable and unique. We ask that you:

  • Handle the material with clean hands (no hand lotions) and minimise handling where possible
  • Do not consume food or drink in Special Collections (there are many refreshment areas on campus)
  • Use a pencil for note-taking as accidents with ink can cause permanent damage
  • Use the foam book supports and weights
  • Keep loose documents in their original order and handle one at a time (please ask before you remove an item from its sequence for copying)
  • Close books when you are not using them (acid-free bookmarks are available from staff)
  • Do not lean on books or manuscripts or rest objects on them (please ask for permission before tracing anything)
  • Do not mark, annotate or deface the materials
  • Tell us about any accidents or damage.


Not all material listed in the catalogue is available to view. There are a number of restrictions that may apply.


Photocopying and digitisation services are offered by Special Collections. It is possible to use your own digital camera to copy material you look at (unless specific reprographic restrictions have been applied) for personal study and private research.

Publishing and Reuse

If you want to publish or reuse material you have looked at in Special Collections conditions will apply.