Library Services


Our Collections

UCL’s Special Collections is one of the largest Special Collections in the South of England, comprising over 150,000 rare books and over 600 archive and manuscript collections.

A view of a table in our South Junction Reading Room; a selection of rare books sit on book rests as people stand and look.  The books reveal beautiful Elizabethan illustrations, intricate etchings and wood block images.

Our collections include fine examples of medieval manuscripts, early printed books, significant holdings of 18th Century works and highly important 19th and 20th Century collections of personal papers, archival material, and literature. These items relate to a vast number of subject areas.

Explore the Collection

Archives and Manuscripts

The archives contain documents and records (both digital and physical) that originate from an individual, group, society or institution. The manuscript collection comprises of books and loose-leaf hand written documents of pre-print culture. Visit the Archives and Manuscripts page.

Rare Books and Printed Material

The rare books and printed materials collections include incunabula, pamphlets, small press magazines and a wide range of publications up to the present day. Visit the Rare Books and Printed Material page.


UCL Records are UCL’s institutional archive, books and other printed material connected with UCL’s history. UCL Records also manage the Records Management programme for UCL staff. Visit the Records page.

Digital Collections

Visit the Digital Collections page to access digitised collection items and born-digital items, and learn about our digitisation work.


Discover some of the most intriguing aspects of our collection by podcast. View the podcast collection.

Subject Guides

Explore relevant collections in selected subject areas. Our subject guides are intended as a starting point to help you find resources for your studies or research.

Citing items from our collections

For guidance on how to reference items from UCL Special Collections, please see our citation guidelines.

Card Catalogue

The UCL Online Card Catalogue is no longer available. Please use UCL Library Explore to search for library resources. If you need further help or assistance email library@ucl.ac.uk.