Manuscripts and Special Collections

Regulations and registration

The Reading Room is available to all researchers, at the discretion of the Keeper.  It is staffed with a Duty Officer, who is present at all times and available to provide assistance and advice to readers.

Whenever you visit, please sign the register at the front of the main Duty Officer's desk in the East Midlands room. 

Access to archive materials

Using the East Midlands Collection

You do not need to be registered with us to use the East Midlands Room, or to consult items there, but you will need a University Library card if you wish to borrow items from the East Midlands Collection.

Viewing items from other collections

Only registered users may request documents and rare books from the reserved collections.  These are issued from the main store, brought through to the reader and must be viewed in the Reading Room. 


Anyone wishing to view material from the manuscript and special collections must first register as a reader. To do this you will need to bring some I.D. showing either your photograph or signature and your address. A photocard driving licence is ideal. Members of The University of Nottingham can use their University Library card as I.D. You will also be asked to complete and sign a registration form agreeing to abide by the Reading Room regulations.

A reader's ticket will be issued and this must be produced on any subsequent visit. The ticket is valid for three years. 


Use of laptops

Readers are welcome to use their own laptops or tablets, providing that this does not cause any noise disturbance. A laptop is available for members of the University to borrow.

Wi-fi is available in the Reading Rooms.

Use of audio equipment

Use of audio equipment is not normally permitted.

Use of handheld photographic/recording devices

Ask the Duty Officer about taking photographs in the reading room.  The reprographics services pages describes our policy on the use of readers' mobile phones, personal cameras (including digital cameras), video recorders or hand-held scanners in the Reading Room.  

Food and drink

No food or drink may be consumed in the Reading Room.  This includes bottled water and chewing gum. Bottled water only is permitted in the East Midlands Room. 

Care of material

  • Readers must use pencils in the inner reading room, to prevent accidental damage to documents and books from pens.
  • Documents and books must not be marked, folded or leaned upon. 
  • Documents and bound volumes should always be placed on the supports provided; the Duty Officer will be pleased to offer assistance if needed.  


  • To ensure the security of our collections and your possessions all bags, laptop cases and coats must be stored in a locker.
  • The amount of material issued to a reader at any one time will be restricted. Only three volumes or one bundle of documents will be issued at a time. Bundles of loose documents will be weighed before they are issued and again when they are returned.
  • Readers may not remove any document, book or restricted material from the Reading Rooms.
  • Anyone wishing to leave material temporarily should inform the Duty Officer, otherwise it may be returned to the store in their absence.
  • Readers should allow time before their departure (about 15 minutes) for the staff to check the material that is being returned.

Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651