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Using the Collections

Bishop John Cosin’s mission to open his library to anyone who was interested in knowledge, learning and discovery, is just as important now as it was 350 years ago. The University’s historic libraries and archives are open for anyone to consult, whether you are a professor, student, serious researcher or just have a personal interest in learning something new or old. 

Our eight miles of books, manuscripts, photographs, objects and archives are available to view in the Barker Research Library. 

You can make an appointment and pre-order material or just turn up during opening hours and our collections team will do their best to help. Find out more about visiting us in person. If you wish to see Archives and Special Collections material during April and May, you must notify us at least three working days in advance, and include a full list of document references or shelfmarks. Please contact us using our enquiry form.

Before your visit, you can search our extensive collections online using our Discover online database and guides to the collections to find something specific or just go on your own journey of discovery.