The University’s Special Collections are available to all students in the University. The collections include rare books, manuscripts, records, letters, photographs, maps and drawings. Use the search box below to find specific items on the Enterprise catalogue.
The Special Collections Service is based on the London Road campus, in the same building as the Museum of English Rural Life. Items from the Special Collections cannot be borrowed, but they can be consulted in the reading room. You’re advised to plan ahead and contact Special Collections prior to your visit, so that we can have the material ready for you for when you arrive.
The following collections are relevant to students of typography and graphic communication:
Reading University theses and dissertations
The Library receives a copy of all theses accepted for the degrees of PhD and MPhil by the University. All theses held by the Library can be found on the Enterprise catalogue. Recently submitted theses might also be available to download from the University's Institutional Repository, CentAUR.
Masters theses can usually be consulted in the relevant school or department.
Finding theses from other institutions
There are a number of specialist sources for finding theses produced at other institutions around the world. Many more are becoming available online making it much easier to get the full-text. For more information see our guide to finding theses.
Conference papers are published in a variety of ways - they may be published as a book, or as a special issue or supplement to a journal. Some may not be published at all!
If published promptly they can you give you the latest information on research in your field.
See our guide to finding conference papers for details of specialist sources for finding this type of information.
Newspapers can be a good source for the latest developments in a field and for current opinion on controversial topics.
We have online access to a number of current and archive newspaper issues. For further information and links go to our Finding newspapers page.
Maps can be used in nearly all disciplines to either research or display spatial information. The University Library contains about 70,000 maps and atlases, covering the whole world. They include original and facsimile maps from medieval to modern times, and access to online resources is also available.
To find out how maps can help you, see our presentation on Using maps for your research.
See our Guide to finding and using printed and digital maps for more information and help on getting started.
For digital maps of Great Britain, the best place to start is Digimap. This includes eight datasets, including contemporary Ordnance Survey maps; historical Ordnance Survey maps; geology maps; environmental land cover maps; marine charts and thematic data; aerial imagery ; census and socio-economic data and world maps. Maps can be printed out or data downloaded for use in a geographical information system.
For further help and advice, contact the Map Librarian.