Using Special Collections

You can access our Special Collections both in person (as a reader) and increasingly online.

Most Special Collections are held at the John Rylands Research Institute and Library. Other collections are held at the Main Library on the Oxford Road campus. These include the archives of The University of Manchester, Christian Brethren Archives, the Map Collection, many scientific and medical archives, and post-1800 medical books.

We offer a closed-access reader service which means that items must be pre-ordered. They are then retrieved by staff and brought to your desk in the Reading Room. Special Collections items cannot be borrowed.

Staff and students of The University of Manchester are automatically registered as Special Collections readers. Library membership is also open to everyone over the age of 16.