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Special Collections

Students studying rare books in a teaching session in Special Collections

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

The Academic Year 2021-22

Archives & Special Collections is now open to visitors as well as Hope staff and students, by appointment only. 

To make an appointment to visit or to discuss research or teaching sessions, email Special Collections Librarian, Karen Backhouse or

The Andrew F. Walls Centre for the Study of African & Asian Christianity, upstairs in Special Collections, is currently being used as a socially-distanced place of work for library staff. Access to the resources is by appointment during normal working hours, 9.30am to 4.30pm.

To request access please email Special Collections Librarian, Karen Backhouse or

Open Online

We are also very much 'open' online. Email with your research queries and our Special Collections Librarian will endeavour to help. Subject to certain restrictions, we can provide digital scans of material for research purposes at no charge, however, we are only able to offer up to an hours research per request.

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.

Access to Collections

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

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