Leeds University Library

Access restrictions

Conservator working on a book

Material that you find on the catalogues may be unavailable for a number of reasons.

Fragile or damaged items 

If material is too fragile to handle it may be withdrawn from use until repairs are carried out. Some damaged material may only be available at the discretion of the Conservator. It may be possible for material to be digitised as an alternative form of access. However, the digitisation process itself can cause harm to the original material without some conservation intervention.

Collections on loan 

When collections are on loan to Special Collections, depositors may have imposed restrictions to the access and copying of material that would not be usual for other collections. Such restrictions are usually determined by a specific time period and information will be available on individual catalogue records.

Modern archival material 

Much modern archival material will be subject to restricted access or closure periods under the conditions of the Data Protection Act. For some collections only a limited amount of information will be available on the catalogue and the contents of may need to be reviewed by an Archivist before it is made available in the reading room.

When material is restricted, researchers must complete an application form for access to restricted material (DOC). A timescale for the review process will be provided. When restrictions are identified, these will be clear on the catalogue with guidance to our procedures.