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The University of Manchester Library

Using printed books

The JRUL printed book collections are among the finest in the world. They encompass almost all the landmarks of printing through five centuries, including magnificent illustrated books, examples of fine printing, landmark works in typography, key historical texts and exquisite bookbindings. They cover a wide range of subjects: theology and philosophy; economic, social, political and military history; travel and exploration; literature, drama and music; art and archaeology; science and medicine.

Highlights include: over 4,000 incunables; the largest collection of Aldines in the world; the second largest collection of works printed by William Caxton; a remarkable collection of 16th-century Italian books; one of the greatest collections in the world covering the entire history of the printed Bible; internationally important collections of French Revolutionary material, nonconformist literature, and scientific and medical texts.

Whether you are seeking source material for an undergraduate essay, a PhD. thesis, or an academic publication, you will find an extraordinary range of printed books, journals, broadsides and other material within the Special Collections.

The majority of Special Collections printed books are recorded on the library catalogue.

The Library’s Guide to Special Collections also provides an overview of the printed collections.