Special Collections & Archives



Using the Special Collections and Archives reading room

We care for over 600 unique and valuable collections. To help us make sure they are kept safe for future researchers to use, you must follow these regulations when you visit and handle our materials.


  • Leave coats, bags and umbrellas in the lockers.
  • Make sure your hands are clean, dry and lotion-free.
  • Sign the visitors book when you arrive each day.
  • Use only pencils (not pens) for making notes.
  • No food, drink, chewing gum or sweets!


  • Handle all collection items with care and as directed by staff.
  • Read bound volumes on the provided cushions. Use the weights to minimise the need to touch the volumes.
  • Flat items should be placed flat on the table – do not lift them.
  • Do not remove collection items from protective enclosures.
  • Keep paper files and other loose items exactly in the order in which we’ve issued them to you.
  • We reserve the right to advise you on correct handling.


  • You may use cameras and phones to photograph collection items, but ask us first!
  • We reserve the right to refuse photography of any collection item.
  • No flash photography.
  • Do not remove collection items from protective enclosures.
  • Do not lift collection items up from the table; they must be appropriately supported.
  • Do not adjust lighting or seating.
  • Tripods or copying devices are not allowed.
  • You may only take photos for personal research and must observe copyright legislation.

We are happy to answer any queries about collections, handling, or photography; please just ask!

Please read and abide by the Library regulations.


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The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000t the Library | Give Library feedback | Library Regulations

Last Updated: 25/09/2018