The University of Southampton
Special Collections

With 6.5 million manuscript items and 50,000 printed books, the Special Collections provide a resource of remarkable richness and depth. Within the Archives and Manuscripts are the papers of the first Duke of Wellington, third Viscount Palmerston, and papers for the foundation of the states of India and Pakistan in the archive of Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Southampton is also home to one of the largest Jewish archives in Western Europe. Printed collections of note are the Parkes Library on Jewish/non-Jewish relations, the Cope Collection on Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the Perkins Agricultural Library and the Wellington Pamphlets.

  • 26 April 2017

    Wellington and Waterloo MOOC

    Starting on 5 June 2017 there will be a re-run of the free Massive ...

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  • 6 February 2017

    New descriptions for archive collections M...

    We are delighted to announce that descriptions for archive collecti...

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  • 22 December 2016

    Special Collections Christmas closure

    The Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books Reading Room will be sh...

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  • Printed Collections

    Find out about the Special Collections printed collections, including the Cope Collection, Parkes Library and the rare book material.

    Virtual Reading Room

    The Special Collections Virtual Reading Room digital viewer gives access to online digital collections.

    Special Collections Blog

    The Special Collections blog is updated regularly with posts about our collections, as well as Special Collections news, events and exhibitions. You'll also find us on Facebook at

    University Library

    The University Library has a comprehensive collection of books and journals, both electronic and print, available from the Hartley and other campus libraries, plus a range of services to support teaching and research across all areas of the University.

    Special Collections Blog

  • Mon, 22 May 2017

    “Viva Inglaterra!”: los niños arrive in Southampton

    In May 1937, los niños, the Basque child refugees, were among approxim...

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  • Wed, 17 May 2017

    Taste the Archive: gingerbread!

    Today is World Baking Day – the perfect excuse for making – and eating...

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  • Fri, 12 May 2017

    A new King and Queen are crowned

    On 12 May 1937 the coronation took place of George VI and Queen Elizab...

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