A unique and diverse resource, Special Collections is home to around 25,000 rare books and over 150 collections of archives, manuscripts, photographs, books, pamphlets and music scores which support and inspire the academic work of the University, and the wider scholarly community.
Discover rare books and archives
Our inspiring collections
Notable materials include English Civil War tracts, literary first editions, 18th and 19th century caricatures, and beautiful private press books. Among our archive collections are the 17th century Hartlib Papers, the papers of Barry Hines, novelist and screenwriter, the British Union of Fascists Collection, and the research papers of Sir Hans Krebs, Nobel Prize winning biochemist.
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Our collections are made up of unique and rare material to support learning and research ranging from 17th century works to research papers of Nobel Prize winners, our collection has remarkable strengths in British drama, history, poetry, employment history, and popular culture.
Exhibitions, talks and activities are held at Western Bank Library as part of our programme of public events. Our exhibitions cover a wide range of interesting subjects and offer a fascinating window to our collections. Visitors can explore unique and amazing stories often newly discovered by our academic experts. These stories can be experienced in a variety of ways including sound and video.