Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about booking an appointment.
The Special Collections Division is situated on Level 4 of the Hartley Library at the University's Highfield site. There are two main areas: the Special Collections Open Access area houses the more modern printed material (which includes the Parkes Library) while the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room is where the manuscript and rare book material is consulted.
The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether you are attached to an academic institution. Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room, however, is by prior appointment to access the manuscript material.
Applications for access to the Archives and Manuscripts are made on an individual basis by each researcher.
If you are not a member of the University of Southampton and have not previously used the manuscript collections, the initial appointment must be made in writing and sent through the ordinary post, giving your private, permanent residential address, and not from an institutional address, to:
The Archivist and Head of Special Collections
University of Southampton
It is not possible to make an initial appointment by telephone, fax or email.
Appointments for subsequent visits can be made with searchroom staff, by telephoning 02380 592721 or emailing Archives@soton.ac.uk
External researchers are asked to bring with them evidence of identification, which includes their permanent residential address, on their initial visit to the Archives and Manuscripts or on their first visit in a calendar year.
Members of the University
Members of the University of Southampton can make an appointment, including the initial appointment, telephoning 02380 592721 or emailing Archives@soton.ac.uk
Members of the University should bring their university ID card with them on their first visit.
For curatorial reasons, special library regulations apply to the use of the collections. Regulations for the use of the reading room for archives and rare books can be found under Schedule 5 of the Library Regulations and Schedules.
Special Collections Open Access follows the Hartley Library's opening hours.
The Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books reading room is open Monday-Friday 0930-1700.
For dates on which the reading room is closed see: http://library.soton.ac.uk/opening