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Archives and Special Collections

Welcome to Special Collections

Welcome to our Archives and Special Collections LibGuide. 

Special Collections manages the University Library's collections of unique and rare materials, which include archives, manuscripts, and rare books. Our holdings comprise more than 500 archive and manuscript collections and more than 50,000 rare books.

Our collections are available for everyone - students, staff and members of the public - to access in our reading room.

The collections cover a wide range of subjects: Arab and Islamic Studies; Art History and Visual Culture; Business Studies; Drama and Theatre History; English; Geography and Environmental Studies; History; Literary Studies; Local Studies; Modern Languages; Politics; Social Studies, and Theology and Religion.

Special Collections Contact Information

Special Collections Enquiries:


Phone: 01392 72 2097​

Opening Hours: Please see our Visiting Heritage Collections page for details


Digital Collections:

Twitter: @UoEHeritageColl


General Library Enquiries:


Getting started at the Library

The Reading Room

The Ronald Duncan Reading Room is located in the Old Library on the Unviersity of Exeter Streatham Campus. Items ordered from Special Collections and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum are consulted in the Reading Room. The Reading Room is open Monday to Friday, please see our Visiting Heritage Collections page for more details. Readers wishing to access material need to be aware of the following:

  • Please book in advance if you wish to use material from our collections.
  • Members of the University of Exeter should bring their University Library card.
  • External users will be asked to register by completing the External Reader registration form, and bring photo ID, such as a driving license or passport.
  • You may use paper and pencil or your own laptop or tablet for taking notes. Pens are not allowed in the reading room.

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