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.
There are a few items within the archive and rare book collections that relate to the subject of disability, such as correspondence and certificates relating to the employment of agricultural workers, photographs of disabled people and projects for disabled people in The MERL Archive, and correspondence about publications regarding disability in the Archive for British Printing and Publishing. Some examples are:
If you would like to make use of the University's Special Collections for your dissertation research, a good place to start would be the Subject Explorer guides. This guide has been created to help you make use of the University of Reading Special Collections in your dissertation.
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 Some may not be published at all!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.
The ILL service can obtain a wide range of academic books, journals, and conference proceedings. Because of the costs involved it is meant only for material which is essential to your studies or research.
For more information see our Inter-Library Loans webpages:
As a member of the University of Reading you can usually use other academic libraries. However, if you want to consult another Library's collections please contact the Library concerned before making a special journey.
You can identify some UK research and University libraries by looking at the list of libraries contributing to the Library Hub Discover service:
We are members of two SCONUL schemes which enable you to access many other UK HE libraries. In some cases you may be able to borrow.
For more information see our guide to using other libraries:
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.