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Reading room guide

Using materials from Rare Books & Special Collections

Please make sure you have completed our online request form and received the confirmation of your appointment, prior to visiting the reading room.


Rare Books & Special Collection materials must be used in our reading room, and are not to be removed from it under any circumstances.

Our reading room is reserved for individual readers. If you are a group of three or more, please complete our group registration form.

When you arrive

  • Please arrive on time for your appointment.
  • You must sign for the receipt of each item.
  • You must leave proof of identification with the reading room staff while you use the item/s.
  • Coats and bags must be stored in the locked cabinet or on the coat rack.

In the reading room

  • Individual clients may use up to three volumes, one archival box, or one treasure item at a time.
  • Clients working in groups of two may use one item at a time together.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean and dry before handling our materials.
  • You may only use pencils, not pens; you must not mark any materials.
  • No food or drink is allowed.
  • Take care not to lean on materials; use the provided supports for books. You can use our soft book weights to keep book pages open.
  • A lightsheet is available for viewing negatives.

Taking photographs and scanning

  • You may take non-flash photographs for research purposes.
  • We have an overhead scanner in our Reading Room (for materials up to A3 size). Bring your own USB storage device.