Special Collections

The Library has extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, historical photographs, engraved portrait prints and personal archives.

These can be consulted by appointment in our Kirby and West Special Collections Reading Room.

The University Archives, relating to the history of the University of Leicester, can also be viewed in the Kirby and West Special Collections Reading Room.

Explore the collections A-Z or browse the collections by theme. Our rare book collection can be searched by visit Library Search and filtering search results for Special Collections.

Explore our collections

Archives Catalogue

Secret Diary

Search our Archives Catalogue, including the papers of Joe Orton and Sue Townsend, and the University of Leicester Archives

Special Collections Online

ContentDM Homepage Thumbnail

Discover our digital collections via Special Collections Online, including historical trade directories and the history of Leicestershire

Online Exhibitions

Omeka homepage thumbnail

Browse our Online Exhibitions, showcasing stories from our collections

Collections by theme

Pre 1850 Books

Explore our collections by theme

Share this page:

Contact Us

T: +44 (0)116 252 2056

E: specialcollections

Opening times

Archives and Special Collections is currently closed until further notice. For further information about onsite services please visit see our Covid-19 Library Advice.