Image of a banner saying special collections and archives with students studying in the background

Special Collections and Archives

Welcome to Special Collections and Archives

Photographs, manuscripts, books and videos - LJMU Special Collections and Archives hold distinctive visual materials.

The LJMU Special Collections and Archives contains unique primary resources. You can consult the collections by contacting the LJMU Archivist. Our accommodation provides climate-controlled storage space and a comfortable Reading Room for study and research in the Aldham Robarts Library.

Connect with us

Access to Special Collections and Archives material

To access books and theses from Special Collections and Archives, please email the LJMU Archivist. Alternatively, please fill out a Special Collections Request Form. The form can also be obtained from the Aldham Robarts Library. Please return your completed form to the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room (lower ground floor of the Aldham Robarts Library).

Items will ordinarily be ready for you on the next working day, but you will be emailed to advise that material is ready.

Access to our archive collections is by appointment with the LJMU Archivist. If you are visiting from outside LJMU, particularly if you have a long way to travel, it is strongly recommended that you contact the LJMU Archivist in advance of any proposed trip.  You will need to request any material you wish to see at least 24-hours in advance of your visit (excluding weekends).

Please note that, in line with other archives, we require personal identification, and may, in some circumstances, ask you to provide references from your research supervisor or other suitable person or body.

Searching for items

Items designated 'Special Collection' in Library Discover are materials collected over a number of years in the form of items: of historical interest or antiquarian books, limited editions, artists' books and special formats. These can be located by author, title or keyword searches.

Separate catalogues are available for most of our archives and collections on the relevant collection page. We have recently started adding catalogues to a new online archive catalogue which will eventually include all of our catalogues. For more information please contact the LJMU Archivist.

Material from the Stafford Beer Collection, Liverpool School of Art, Liddell Hart Collection of Costume and the catalogue of material in the Everyman Theatre Archive, can be found in LJMU Digital Collections.

Access the Reading Room

The Special Collections and Archives Reading Room is open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. The Reading Room is located on the lower ground floor of the Aldham Robarts Library.

To enter the Reading Room, you will be required to sign-in at reception and leave your bags and coats in the lockers provided.  You will then be required to abide by the Reading Room Rules, including no eating or drinking in the reading room and the use of pencils only

Reference use

Please note, items from the Special Collections and Archives are for reference use only. Under no circumstances may they be removed from the Aldham Robarts Library.

Protecting the items

The fragile, rare or sensitive nature of some items may require you to wear protective gloves, use a bookrest or another form of support. In all instances, photocopying and photography is at the discretion of the LJMU Archivist.

Contact the LJMU Archivist

For more information or to access the Special Collections and Archives please contact the LJMU Archivist using the contact details below.

LJMU Archivist: Emily Parsons


Call: 0151 231 3241


Special Collections and Archives
Aldham Robarts Library
Liverpool John Moores University
Off Maryland Street
L1 9DE