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Curatorial support

The Library’s Special Collections team includes curators with great expertise in supporting research.

We can’t do the research for you, but we can help in several ways.

Searching collections

  • We can help you navigate through the variety of catalogues and finding aids to identify sources relevant to your research.
  • We can use our extensive knowledge of the collections to suggest sources relevant to your research, saving you time.
  • We can tell you about uncatalogued material, such as recent acquisitions that haven’t yet been catalogued.


Many curators are experts on the history of the book and of textual and visual materials generally.

  • We can offer advice on the materiality and technical features of objects, and the history of our collections. 
  • We may be able tell you whether other researchers have worked on the same material. This may save you valuable time by avoiding duplication, or provide opportunities for collaboration. Note that the Data Protection Act prevents us from disclosing the identities of other researchers without their consent.
  • We can provide advice on citation, copyright and data protection issues, and give permission for publishing transcriptions of manuscripts and archives.


  • We can put you in touch with the Library’s imaging experts, who use advanced imaging techniques to reveal hidden texts and under-drawings, and analyse pigments.Our conservators can advise on the construction and materiality of objects.
  • We can support your research funding applications, with specialist advice and costings.

In fact, if your research proposal relates to Special Collections, it is essential to talk to us at the earliest opportunity.

Contact us

Contact us for further information:

  • Contact Special Collections