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.

  • 22 December 2016

    Special Collections Christmas closure

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

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  • 11 July 2016

    Limited access for summer 2016

    Due to the on-going building project taking place in the Hartley Li...

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  • 8 April 2016

    Restricted service notice for summer 2016

    From June until December 2016, there will be a building project tak...

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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, 23 Jan 2017

    A Short Introduction to Palaeography

    As today is National Handwriting Day in the United States, we have dec...

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  • Tue, 17 Jan 2017

    Testing Times

    This week we post an Archive photo for all those students commencing S...

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  • Mon, 09 Jan 2017

    “Sans peur and sans reproache”: Emily, Lady Palmerston

    Writing from Paris in 1826, Emily, Countess Cowper – later Lady Palmer...

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