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Using our collections and sources

The Library provides access to a wide range of material to support and advance your research in the most appropriate and cost-effective way.

‌We develop our collections and stimulate new ways to exploit these resources, with a focus on the University’s research priorities.

We negotiate licence terms and provide access to text mining datasets so that researchers can make best use of our digital collections.

Our low-use research material is carefully stored at our off-site Research Reserve and we provide an efficient retrieval service.

Our Special Collections are truly world-leading.

Further information

Search resources

What is Library Search?

Library Search is a discovery tool. It allows you to search for and access resources we hold or subscribe to, as well as Open Access content, including articles, books, journals and images. It uses the same technology to find Open Access content as tools like OA Button and Unpaywall.  

It pulls together many of the Library’s systems and searches them simultaneously, including visual material in our digital collections.

When searching for a specific format use the Search Resources pages.  These include books, ebooks, databases, journal articles and theses. You can also filter your search to find Open Access content (these are marked with the Open Access logo).


For support with access to electronic resources, please contact the Electronic Resources Helpdesk:

How to access books that the Library does not hold

If the Library doesn’t hold a copy of a book that you need for your research, use our Order a Book service for staff and we’ll get it for you.

Students should use the Order a Book - students service for students.

Order a Chapter

If the Library doesn’t hold a copy of a chapter that you need for your research, use our Order a Chapter service for staff and we’ll get it for you.

Students should use the Order a Chapter service for students.


How to access journal articles that the Library does not hold

To access journal articles not held by the Library (and not available as Open Access via Library Search), please use the Order an article - staff service:

Students should use the Order an article - students service:

Staff can request a new subscription to a journal by contacting their Engagement Librarian.


Datasets for text and data-mining

The Library supports digital scholarship by negotiating with suppliers for full-text content in an appropriate format (e.g. XML or OCRd text) for text and data-mining. We are actively developing this area and new sources are coming on stream rapidly.

Available now:

  • A large dataset of Elsevier’s content. Request access via The Support Portal and search "Elsevier".
  • Sketch Engine tools and ready-made corpora, of particular interest to linguists.
  • The 16.7-million-item HathiTrust corpus of books, recently made available for ‘non-consumptive research’, including items protected by copyright.
  • Gale’s brand-new Digital Scholar Lab gives you new ways of distant reading, textual analysis and visualisation.

Coming soon:

  • ProQuest content including Early English Books Online, newspaper and journal collections.


Copyright for researchers

Whether you are a PhD student writing your thesis or an academic publishing a scholarly paper, it's important to have an understanding of copyright and how it can affect your research.  

As a researcher you are both a user and creator of copyright material. So while disseminating research outputs is essential to the success of the institution and its researchers, it is also important that this dissemination takes account of copyright law.

The Library’s Copyright Guidance Service can advise you on all aspects of copyright, from licensing your own work, to using the work of others: