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Special Collections

Special Collections is home to over 75,000 manuscripts, rare books, journals, archives, ephemera and artefacts. Special Collections is open to all staff and students, as well as external visitors and the wider research community.

The Academic Year 2020-21

In response to the Covid-19 status, physical access to the collections is restricted to Liverpool Hope staff and students on a limited basis only. However, restrictions apply to all users during lockdown 3.0.

For students and staff wishing to use the collections for their personal research, email Special Collections Librarian, Karen Backhouse or with information regarding the books or archival material you wish to view and your preferred date for working in the Reading Room. Booking will be required, at least a week in advance, to allow for the mandatory 72-hour quarantining between handling.

The Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of African & Asian Christianity, upstairs in Special Collections, is currently being utilised as a safe, socially-distanced place of work for library staff. Books and journals from the Centre are available to use via the Request and Collect Service

Open Online

Access to the collections is restricted but we are open online. Email with your research queries and our Special Collections Librarian will endeavour to help. Due to restrictions with working onsite we can only work for up to one hour on requests. We can take photos of material for individual research at no charge, however, if the material is too large or fragile to photograph safely, we will let you know so that you can submit a request for a high-quality image though our Reprographics Services, for which there will be a charge.

Catalogued books and collection-level descriptions of archives are available online and can be searched, browsed and filtered through our advanced search on OneSearch. For some of the uncatalogued material there are Finding Aids available to browse or download from our webpages. These include lists of contents of archive collections and also classification schemes, or lists of subject headings, for uncatalogued book collections.

Teaching Support

Teaching sessions in the Reading Room have been suspended, however, the Special Collections Librarian, Karen Backhouse, currently working onsite on a Tuesday, can provide images or help to create videos of the materials for use in online lectures and seminars. The final video is compiled and edited by Multimedia Web Developer, Steven Hargraves, so please allow plenty of time to ensure jobs can be accommodated alongside current workloads.

For more information visit Learning and Teaching. Email Karen Backhouse or with your requirements and an indication of your deadline, or book a convenient time to work with the collections in the Reading Room.

Access to Collections

For information about the services our Special Collections offers, as well as contact details, visit access to collections.

Our Collections

For further information about the manuscripts and rare books available to view, visit our collections.


Our archives are for reference only and must be viewed in our environmentally controlled reading room. Visit our archives page for more information.

Learning and Teaching

For support in using the collections for teaching sessions and for research skills support visit Learning and Teaching.

Finding Aids

To help identify material in archives and special collections and for links to useful online resources, visit the finding aids page.

Watch our video