Use our collections

The Special Collections and Archives and the National Fairground and Circus Archive are open for all researchers.


Booking a visit

Visits to our reading room can be booked for the following sessions during our normal working hours of Monday to Thursday, 10:00am - 12:30pm and 1:30pm - 4:00pm

We are based on level 4 of Western Bank Library.  

Where possible, we ask that you book at least three days in advance of your visit. We are open to walk-ins from staff and students but cannot guarantee material requested can be made available at this time.

To consult our collections, please complete this form: 

Consultation and Booking form

To search our collections, please visit the Discover our Collections page.

For enquiries, and to book a visit, contact us via email or phone:

Telephone: 0114 222 7299

Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to cancel or rearrange your visit. 

Guidance for researchers

Please follow the guidance below to help us safeguard our collections

  • Bring a form of identification. U cards are acceptable.   
  • Use pencils or laptops for note taking. Bring your own fully charged laptop if required. 
  • Eating and drinking is not permitted in the reading room.
  • Lockers are provided for bags and coats. 
  • We ask that visitors wash their hands to use our collections. 
  • Please show consideration towards other readers by keeping noise to a minimum.
  • You may be permitted to take photographs using your own phone or camera. 
  • Please handle our collections with care and follow any guidance provided by staff

Digitisation and copying services

We provide a digitisation service for researchers who cannot visit the reading room in person. 

For more information and fees, please visit the Digitisation and Copying Services page. 

Our Accessibility Guide for Visitors

Please ask a member of staff for assistance; we are happy to help. 

Accessibility Guide for Visitors