Special Collections Reading Room

Visit our Special Collections Reading Room on Level 1 to view material from the pictures, manuscripts, maps, oral history, music, ephemera and rare printed collections.

In our Special Collections Reading Room you can also:

  • ask our friendly staff for advice on your research and using our collections
  • access free computers with internet and Microsoft Office suite 
  • use audio equipment to listen to our Oral History and Folklore collections
  • browse our reference collection curated to support your use of our unique collections.

Collection material is delivered to the Special Collections reading room three times per day, and access to this unique material often involves special handling or access conditions. To make the most of your research time, read our tips for using our special collections and our collection delivery times before you visit.

For the security of our collections you are not able to bring any bags into the Special Collections Reading Room. Food, large bags, coats, umbrellas and other large objects can be stored in our free self-service lockers on Lower Ground 1. 

The Special Collections Reading Room is open Monday to Thursday 10am–8pm and Friday to Saturday 10am-5pm. The Special Collections Reading Room is closed on Sundays and public holidays. 

The Petherick Reading Room is co-located within the Special Collections Reading Room and provides a dedicated space for advanced researchers.