Library Services



Digitisation is an important aspect of UCL Special Collections' work to increase access to the collections.

A camera lense sits in a stand above an old document showing an image of UCL.

Digitised materials from UCL Special Collections are available for:

  • Supporting teaching, research, and public engagement
  • Promoting our unique collections online to a world-wide audience
  • Allowing access to collections that would otherwise be hidden, or inaccessible due to preservation issues
  • Bringing together research material that is scattered between different institutions or even different countries.
UCL Digital Collections
UCL Special Collections’ digitised content is stored online at UCL Digital Collections.
Selection and Process

Projects usually focus on material from Special Collections, but collections from other UCL libraries are often included. Physical formats will include but not be limited to print books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, artworks, audio recordings and video recordings.

The physical condition of rare and valuable items will be taken into account when being considered for digitisation and a conservation survey will be carried out prior to any digitisation work.

We aim to work closely with the academic community within UCL to establish priorities for digitisation. We also look into externally funded projects as they provide opportunities to make large collections accessible in a way that would not be possible from internal resources.

In most cases digitisation is done in-house. Where we cannot meet the demands of a particular project, the work will be outsourced. We are committed to the highest standards in handling and transportation of all material selected for digitisation, whether the work is carried out at Special Collections or externally.


All digitised work will either be out of copyright or we will have acquired copyright clearance. All digitised content online includes a clear statement of copyright, including end-user rights. Wherever possible a CC BY Licence will be used to allow free use.

Make a reproduction request 

If you would like to learn more about the wider digitsation across UCL Library Services (including the digital repository), please go to our Digital Collections page.