Exploring Special Collections

There are several ways to find out about our amazing Special Collections.

The best way to get an overview is to start with our Guide to Special Collections. Follow the links below to browse and search for more detailed information on our physical and digital collections.

Rare books and maps

The majority of Special Collections rare books and maps are recorded in Library Search. Advanced Search gives you more search options. However, there are some collections that are not yet fully catalogued. For advice on material not covered by the online catalogue, or for any other enquiries relating to the printed book collections, please contact us.

Archives and manuscripts

Most archives are listed on Elgar, the Electronic Gateway to Archives at the Rylands. However, some archives and most manuscript collections are still recorded in manual catalogues, at varying degrees of detail. For more information and advice, please contact us.

Visual collections

Many of our visual collections are as yet uncatalogued. Visual material within our printed collections is recorded in Library Search, while most of our archives are catalogued on Elgar.

Our Image Collection contains digital surrogates of many individual visual resources. Manchester Digital Collections is a new resource for exploring high-quality images of cultural collections and research projects at The University of Manchester.

For advice on material not covered by the online catalogues, or for any other enquiries relating to the visual collections, please contact us.

Ahmed Iqbal Ullah RACE Centre

Our unique library and archive collections tell the story of race, diversity and multiculturalism in Manchester, the UK and America.

All of the RACE Centre’s resources can be searched using the Manchester Library Catalogue Advanced Search. In the Location Field select ‘Race Relations Resource Centre: Central Library’. Details of the archive and oral history collections and how to access them can be found on the RACE Centre’s website.