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Opening hours

Special Collections is open 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday during term-time and by appointment only during vacation periods.

Rules and regulations

If you wish to use the Reading Room, whether to consult the special collections or just to use as a quiet study space you will be required to sign-in and follow the Reading Room rules and regulations. They are important in safeguarding the collections and in preserving them for future generations.

Photocopying and digital photography

Self-service photocopying is permitted on material that may be borrowed as long as UK copyright law is adhered to. Photocopying of other reference-only material in the closed access vault is permitted at the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian. Please be aware that the physical condition or size of an item may prohibit any photocopying.

Early printed books and manuscripts are not permitted to be photocopied; however, they may be photographed (without the use of flash) when used for personal research and study only. This is at the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian so please ask in advance. We allow students and visitors to bring their own digital cameras or smartphones but you will be required to record details of what you photograph and how many you take. This is to monitor use of the collections and to gather statistical evidence for potential future digitisation projects. You will also be required to sign a declaration form stating that you have understood the following restrictions that apply:

  • Copyright and Related Rights Regulations 2003. The restrictions related to special collections and archives are governed by this government legislation.
  • Collection Care. Photography prevents potential damage as no contact is made, however, it is essential that the books are properly supported. Assistance in using book supports and snake weights will be given.
  • Data Protection Act 2018. Access to archive records containing personal data is restricted under the Data Protection Act 2018, taking effect of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

There is no charge for personal digital photography.

Image Licensing and Reproduction

To reproduce an image for publication, either for personal or commercial purposes, requires written consent from the rights holder. You will be required to complete a Reproduction & Licensing Request form with details of the requested image and publication details. There may be a charge imposed. For further information please email

Handling rare books

The main cause of damage to library special collections is sustained through poor handling. Damage is often cumulative and not immediately apparent. A culture of good handling will ensure continued access to collections and help preserve them for future generations of users. All users have a responsibility for the care of the collections. To find out more about looking after special collections please read our Collection Care guidelines.

Book supports and snake weights are available to help prevent damage and as part of Special Collections Services we offer training on handling rare books and using these supports. All users of the collections; individuals, Hope students in session groups, and visiting students and researchers must receive compulsory training in handling techniques. This will ensure good handling practises and the prevention of unnecessary deterioration of the books and also enable users to feel confident in using the collections. There is a Guide to handling rare books and a video of the handling training given by the Special Collections Librarian that you can refer to to refresh your memory before using the collections and there will always be a member of staff on-hand to assist you.

Collection Policies

The following policy documentation supports the Library Development Plan and Collections Management Policy and provides an overview of the basic principles and procedures governing the management of Special Collections within Liverpool Hope University.

We have finding aids and useful links to online resources but if you can't find what you're looking for please email for help. Unfortunately, due to limited staffing, we can only spend a short period of time on individual enquiries and are unable to offer a paid research service but you are welcome to make an appointment to visit.

The majority of the printed books in Special Collections are catalogued on the Library Catalogue.

HINT: You can refine your search to individual collections by selecting the collection name from the Library Location menu on the left hand side or by using the Advanced Search tool.

For material that is not yet catalogued, there are printed catalogues and classification schemes available to download or to consult in the Reading Room to help identify what you may find in the collections. If you identify a particular area of interest it would be advisable to email to make an appointment to spend time with the Special Collections Librarian looking at some material.

Catalogues and Classification Schemes



Useful links

To make an appointment to consult the manuscripts, rare books or archives, or to ask us any questions you may have, please email  

Alternatively, you can call 0151 291 2007/2079

Postal address

Archives & Special Collections
The Sheppard-Worlock Library
Liverpool Hope University
Hope Park
L16 9JD

You can also contact us via social media:

Twitter @Hope_Library


Wordpress blog

Instagram hopespecialcollections

Useful Information

Not sure where to find a book in Special Collections? Check on the Map of special collections in the library.