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Special Collections

About Special Collections

Palace Green Library entrance

The opening hours for the Search Rooms at Palace Green Library and 5 The College are quite straightforward, but you may wish to contact us before your first visit. There is also additional information for visitors including access, contact details, location, accommodation and transport. Further links give information about the collections and using the collections with details of search room rules and procedures, and guidance on material handling. Enquiries, photocopying and reprographics, commissioned searches and palaeography teaching are covered under facilities and services. There is also a list available of publications including printed items and postcards.

MLA designation logo
Two of the University Library's special collections were awarded Designated status in 2005 in the first round of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council Designation Scheme.

Barker Research Library

Barker Research Library

In October 2013 full reading room services reopened at Palace Green Library in the splendidly refurbished Barker Research Library. It is located in a stunning extension to Palace Green Library constructed in 1968 to an accoladed design by George Pace. Built overlooking the river and on the line of the old castle wall, its latticed western wall floods the library with light, creating a warm and serene atmosphere in which to study. All Special Collections’ books and archives are available in the Research Library's Search Room, and the Local Studies and History of the Book collections have returned to open access to readers. All this is accessible Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. (The Search Room at 5 The College has reverted to opening three days per week, Wednesday to Fridays from 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm for researchers into the Cathedral’s archive only.) Wireless network access is available for those pre-registered on Eduroam, or upon request.

Palace Green Library Cafe

The Courtyard Café

The Courtyard Café provides facilities for all of our visitors to try our delicious cake, coffee and quiche... all with a Cathedral view! The café is open from 09:30 to 16:30 daily. Please bear in mind that the Barker Research Library and the exhibition galleries operate a strict no food or drink policy at all times.

Contact details

Special Collections
Palace Green Library
Palace Green
United Kingdom
: +44 (0)191 334 2972