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Visiting Special Collections during the Coronavirus emergency


This guide will explain the procedures for making an appointment to visit Special Collections during the current Covid-19 emergency, what to expect when you visit and rules of the reading room. You can navigate the guide using the tabs above.

Please note that, in keeping with government guidance, our reading room is currently available only for formal educational and professional purposes.

Before your visit

Making an appointment

It is essential to make an appointment. Please email us at at least a week in advance to make arrangements.

Appointments are available for morning or afternoon or whole day sessions.

Only one day may be booked in a week.

Opening times are Tuesday-Thursday, 10.00 to 12.30 and 13.30 to 16.00. 

Appointment dates are provisional until confirmed by Special Collections once material has been retrieved from storage.  

Please cancel an appointment if you develop symptoms of coronavirus or if you have been told to isolate yourself after exposure to the virus. 

Special Collections may be able to provide material to you by electronic means if you cannot travel. 

Please specify the material you wish to consult in as much detail as possible, including archival reference numbers and book locations. Please ask for further advice if you need it.

The Reading Room is on the first floor of the Arts and Social Sciences Library. Please notify Special Collections in advance if you would like to use the lift from the ground floor.

Booking an introduction to the Library

If you are not a member of the University of Bristol or if you are unsure of the location of the Reading Room, please ask to be met at the entrance to the Library. You will then be given a personal socially-distanced induction tour.

What to bring to your appointment

Bring photographic proof of identity, such as a driving licence, passport or current university identity card.

A face covering must be worn at all times when on university premises.

You must supply your own pencils and paper for note taking. Laptop computers are allowed. 

Special Collections

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Special Collections

The University of Bristol's Special Collections hold a rich and diverse range of archival resources, printed materials and artefacts dating from the 11th century to the present day.

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Library Search

Search books, journal articles and more provided by the University of Bristol Library