Special Collections

The Newsam Library holds 22 Special Collections of books and pamphlets relating to education. These are discrete, mainly historical, collections of published books and documents. (Unpublished papers are held in the Archives.) Further information can be found in our Special Collections LibGuide.

The Special Collections vary in size and coverage. Some - such as the History of Education Collection - have been built up from a variety of sources. Others - such as the Sir Fred Clarke Collection - were the personal libraries of individual scholars. There are also historical collections that concentrate on a particular discipline - eg the Grenfell Collection on physical education.  

Most Special Collections are closed in terms of further acquisitions, but a few, such as the Official Publications Collection and the Historical Textbooks Collection, are still added to on a regular basis.

Most of the Special Collections are listed:
• either in the library catalogue
• or in the card catalogue, beside the stairs on Level 3 West
• or in handlists kept near the library Enquiry Desk

Location and access
All Special Collections are kept in Store and are for reference only. Readers must request material in advance, but most items can be made available within one working day. Some items in remote store may take up to a week to obtain.

Unlisted collections are not normally available for consultation.

Readers must handle items with the greatest care, as many are very fragile. Pencils only should be used when making notes.

Permission must be requested before making photocopies, and will only be granted at the discretion of the Special Collections Librarian or the Archivist.

If you have any queries about Special Collections, please contact the Special Collections Librarian.