Leeds University Library

What’s Special now revealed

Published Wednesday 5 November 2014

Collection of images representing items in Special Collections

Internationally important manuscripts, archives and books are revealed with a new search facility for the Library’s Special Collections.

The new single search brings together many different specialist databases and indexes. The Library team have created thousands more item descriptions, and digitized many of the Library's unique documents, so that researchers in Leeds and around the world now have an in-depth and unique insight into some of the University's greatest treasures.

Digital images of selected material from Special Collections are now available to search online, making it easy to discover everything from 1970s Leeds Student newspapers, to Charlotte Brontë's letters to an Oscar Wilde manuscript.

Interactive learning resources have been created, including one making the Shakespeare First Folio fully digitally available for the first time, and another exploring Simon Armitage's creative process through notebooks and drafts from his archive.

What's changed?

  • Previously separate catalogues and indexes have been brought together and can all be searched in one place, enabling users to discover new areas for research within our collections.
  • All books and printed items are included with collection descriptions, providing new context to Special Collections holdings. 
  • Online exhibitions highlight unique items in the collections
  • Interactive learning resources tell the detailed story of particular items
  • Improved collection guides allow you to search within a specific collection or group of collections, such as the Letters Database, or the Brotherton Collection of Manuscript Verse. 

Thanks to our community

Staff and students from across the University have worked with the Library and contributed to this project. We'd like to thank everyone who contributed initial ideas, gave feedback through user testing, or collaborated in producing online learning resources. We couldn't have done it without you!

If you would like to be involved with Library projects, such as volunteering half an hour for user testing, or giving us your ideas and opinions, please get in touch.