FAQ

Access to the Archives and Manuscripts

The Special Collections Division is available for anyone to use, regardless of whether they are attached to an academic institution.

Access to the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books seachroom, however, is by prior appointment. For researchers who are not members of the University of Southampton, the initial appointment must be made in writing from a permanent residential address and posted to us. Proof of identification must be supplied by all researchers on their first visit to the Archives and Manuscripts each calendar year. For further information see: Access

The Open Access Special Collections is accessible to anyone using the Library, without an appointment.  Photograph identification might be required to gain access to the Hartley Library building.  

Opening hours

The Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books searchroom is open Monday-Friday 0930-1700, by prior appointment.

The Open Access Special Collections is open the same hours as the Hartley Library

Can I use a digital camera?

No private photography of documents and books is permitted. A reprographics service is offered.

Regulations for using Archives and Manuscripts

For curatorial reasons, special library regulations apply to the use of the collections:

  • It may be helpful to know that all coats, bags, etc., must be left by users of the Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books searchroom in the lockers outside the room.
  • Mobile phones and pages must be switched off and left in the lockers.
  • Work in the Archives searchroom must be done in pencil, including the completion of forms and order slips.
  • Portable computers can be used in the Archives searchroom. Where these are to be used with the mains electricity supply they must either be safety checked or used with a safety checked adapted supplied by Archives staff.
  • Eating and drinking are not permitted within the Archives searchroom.

A set of the regulations are available on the Library website.

Where can I find you?

The Special Collections Division is situated on Level 4 of the Hartley Library, which is on the University's Highfield campus.