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Archives and Special Collections: Home

*Special Collections Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update*

Our reading room is closed to visitors until further notice and Special Collections staff are now working remotely.

We will endeavour to respond to enquiries by email. You can contact us at We will assist where we can, but please note that our response may take longer than usual, and we will not be able to provide copies or answer research enquiries that require access to our physical collection stores during this time. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy browsing our Website, Digital Collections, LibGuides, Blogs and Twitter Page, all of which we will continue to update for you.

Thank you for your understanding,

Your Special Collections Team

Special Collections Essentials

Special Collections Enquiries:
Phone: 01392 72 2096​ 
Opening Hours: The reading room is currently closed to all visitors. We are accessing and checking emails remotely and one of us will get back to you, although this may take longer than usual. Thank you. The Special Collections Team


General Library Enquiries:

Phone: 01392 723867

Welcome to Special Collections

Welcome to our Archives and Special Collections LibGuide! Special Collections manages the University's collections of unique and rare materials, which include archives, manuscripts, and rare books. Material in our collections is available for everyone - students, staff and external researchers - to access in our reading room. Our collections cover a wide range of subjects, including 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.

Ronald Duncan Reading Room

The Ronald Duncan Reading Room is located in the Old Library. Items ordered from Special Collections and the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum are consulted in the Reading Room. The Reading Room is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Readers wishing to access material need to be aware of the following:

  • Please contact us 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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