Reading room

The Special Collections and Archives reading room is a dedicated space for consultation of special collections resources, including rare and antiquarian books, manuscripts and archival collections.

It is located on the ground floor of the Glucksman Library, and is open Tuesday to Thursday, 09:00—13:00 and 14:00—17:00. Occasionally, we may need to close the reading room to facilitate workshops, tours and other library activities. Notice of such events will be posted outside the department.

Material is provided to researchers in the reading room on a request basis. If you know what collection you are interested in, it is useful to have an idea of the reference number of any specific items you wish to consult. Paper copies of the archival catalogues are available in the reading room for consultation. Please note that as less-commonly used and mixed-media collections are stored further away from the reading room, there may be a slight delay in retrieving certain items.

If you wish to make an appointment, or have a query regarding one of the collections we hold, please contact us.

To prepare for your visit, read the reading room procedures below and follow the links on this page to search or browse the collections.

Reading room rules

Special collections and archives, because of their age, rarity and value, benefit from careful handling and use. The following rules are in place in the reading room to ensure that our materials are available to you and to other readers into the future:

  1. Readers must sign-in on entry, and photographic identification (student card, passport etc.) must be provided.
  2. Coats, bags and other belongings cannot be brought into the reading room. Cubby holes are provided behind reception, and staff will look after your belongings for you during your visit.
  3. Only 2B pencils may be used for note taking. These are available at the reception desk.
  4. Phones and laptops must in on ‘silent’ mode. Headphones must not be loud enough to disturb other users.
  5. Food and drink are not permitted in the reading room.
  6. Requests for photocopying and/or use of digital camera must be made to department staff. You will be required to complete a copyright declaration form before making copies of any records.
  7. Items held in Special Collections and Archives are for reference only and may not be taken outside the reading room. Items can be held behind reception for researchers who wish to consult material over a number of days.
  8. Items must at all times be handled with great care and must not be marked in any way. Please ask a member of staff if unsure of correct handling procedures.

Please note that anonymous user demographics (such as faculty, year and course of study) are collected for the purposes of analysing department statistics, and are kept in accordance with GDPR legislation. Ask a member of staff for more details.

About the research collections

Browse all research collections

Browse research themes A-Z

Browse Bolton research themes

Download archive catalogues

Search rare book collections