Access items from the closed stacks

With a valid UMcard you can request available items from the closed stacks to view them in the library. Books from 1901 onwards are lendable and pre-1900 books are only available to library users in the Parlour, the library’s reading room at the Inner City Library. We also provide scanning services.

Use in education

The aim of research-based learning is to teach students about conducting research and acquire new substantive knowledge by actually doing research. We currently contribute to several faculty courses within the Wikipedia Education program with our collections of travel, literature, psychology, law and medicine books. By writing a Wikipedia article students practice writing from a neutral point of view, referencing and citing sources.

Benefits for your students

Using primary sources in its raw, unmediated form, unselected and untranscribed…

  • creates a stimulating educational environment
  • encourages discussion, generates uncommon ideas, and leads to critical thinking
  • is challenging and intriguing because students come into contact with traces left by real people who lived, thought and acted
  • requires extracting information from a large amount of disparate material by distinguishing what is relevant and useful, which is a skill essential to academic learning.


Student’s perspective

Curious to see how working with primary sources is experienced from a student’s perspective?

Use in research

The Special Collections offer you an extraordinary range of rare books, journals, manuscripts, archives and visual material for your undergraduate essay, PhD thesis, or academic publication. The possibilities can seem endless but we are here to assist you.

Use our expertise

The library has great expertise in supporting research. We can help you with searching the collections, give you advice on citing archival documents and permission for publication, and bring you in contact with relevant stakeholders.

  • We offer help with navigating through the variety of catalogues and finding aids to identify sources relevant to your research.
  • We use our extensive knowledge of the collections to suggest sources relevant to your research, saving you time.
  • We offer advice on the materiality and technical features of objects, and the history of our collections.
  • We provide advice on citation, copyright and data protection issues, and give permission for publishing transcriptions of manuscripts and archives.
  • We have a vast, relevant network of researchers and partners. We can put you in touch with them.
  • If your research proposal relates to our Special Collections, it is essential to talk to us at the earliest opportunity.


Collaborate with us

The library collaborates in several activities and events encompassing students be inspired by our collections, exhibitions and even a podcast. We find it important to emphasise the social relevance of our collections by making them more visible outside the university.

Request for exhibition loans

If you want to request a book for an exhibition you are organizing, please send us an email with a formal loan request. A formal loan request is required at least 3 months in advance of the exhibition and provides the following information:

  • Title and exhibition dates
  • Full object description with the shelf mark or reference number
  • Contact name, telephone number and email address
  • Exhibition conditions for the requested object (e.g. temperature, humidity, lighting, transport)

Get inspired

and see what we already do