Archives & Special Collections

The University of Leicester Library has extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, historical photographs, engraved portrait prints and personal archives; as well as the University Archives, relating to the history of the University of Leicester. These can be consulted by appointment in the Kirby and West Special Collections Reading Room.

From medieval manuscripts to modern literature, the Archives and Special Collections span over 900 years of history and include archives, rare books and manuscripts that are of regional, national, and international significance.

Featured collections

  • English Local History: Rare books and archives for the study of English Local History.
  • Historical directories: Trade and local directories for England and Wales from the 1760s to the 1910s.
  • History of Medicine: Our scientific collections chart the development of scientific thought and debate from the 16th century onwards.
  • Leicester Mercury Archive: Photographs and cuttings files from the archives of the Leicester Mercury.
  • Literary archives: Literary archives including the Joe Orton and Sue Townsend collections.
  • Mathematical Association Library: Collection of books and periodicals belonging to the Mathematical Association.
  • University Archives: Historic records of the University of Leicester since 1921.

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