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Access and Guidance

Selection of rare books open on a table

Collection Care

Archives & Special Collections collects, cares for and makes accessible unique and distinctive collections for the benefit of present and future generations. The principles that guide this purpose are detailed in the following documents:

If you wish to use the Reading Room, whether to consult the archives and special collections or just to use as a quiet study space you will be required to sign-in and follow the Reading Room Regulations.

Good handling techniques

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. All users have a responsibility for the care of the collections.

A&SC offers training on handling the collections, using the book supports and snake weights provided. This aids the prevention of unnecessary deterioration of the books and also enables users to feel confident in using the collections.

The following guides are designed to help you:

Useful Information

Not sure where to find a book in Special Collections? Check the SWL Special Collections Map.