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About Special Collections & Archives

Find out more about who we are, what we do and our policies and procedures.

What we do

Newcastle University Library supports the University’s learning and teaching, research, innovation and engagement by providing resources, high quality services, and professional expertise to enable the effective discovery and use of information, and the development and communication of knowledge.

Special Collections accomplishes this by collecting, preserving, promoting and facilitating access to rare or unique primary source material and historic secondary texts which it makes available to our own staff and students, to researchers from other institutions, and anyone in the wider community who is interested in the material. It seeks recognition of the regional, national and international significance of important collections, and the quality of its custodianship towards these collections and their diverse audiences. Its activities include engagement through exhibition and outreach programmes devised in partnership with stakeholders internal and external to the University.

Special Collections actively collaborates with our communities, including the co-development of research and infrastructure, particularly around digital scholarship. It seeks to benchmark itself against best practice in the sector towards continual and inclusive improvement in all aspects of management and curation.

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We are an Accredited Archive Service

This is a UK-wide quality standard, which provides a benchmark for gauging performance, recognising achievement and driving improvement within the archive sector.

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Policies and procedures

The Special Collections and Archives team is dedicated to acquiring, preserving, promoting and facilitating the widest possible access to our collections. To learn more about the principles that guide this work, please follow the links to our policy documents.

If you would like to borrow material from our collections for an exhibition, please first of all read through the Conditions of Loan for Exhibitions guidance above. Applications for the loan of items should be submitted at least three months in advance, using the Application for Exhibition Loan Form.