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Request an Item

Request an Item

How to find, request and consult items in our collections.

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COVID-19 notice

As part of the University’s response to coronavirus, the Special Collections Reading Room will be closed to all researchers from Tuesday 17th March until further notice. Customers will be unable to request material during this period. The Special Collections team will still be responding to all enquiries via email and you can contact us at

Step One: find an archive collection item or a rare book

  • start by browsing our collections.
  • all of our collections are also searchable on the Library Search.
  • an archive collection can cover several boxes of material. However you will normally see a link to a 'finding aid' which will list the collection contents in more detail, so that you can just order the boxes or items you need.  Remember to make a note of the title and reference code when you are looking through the finding aid, as you will need these when you order your item.

Step Two: order your item

  • when you find an item in one of our collections, note the reference number and title then request it using the form below (form is inactive and customers are unable to request material due to the current COVID-19 situation).
  • once we have received your request, we will bring your item to the Special Collections reading room for you to consult.
  • you will receive an email to let you know it is ready for you.
  • there are two collections a day (morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday) so your item will normally be ready for you by the next working day at the latest.
  • not a member of Newcastle University? If you are not a member of the University and you are arranging travel please allow two working days in case the item is already in use or otherwise inaccessible (our reading room is currently closed due to the current COVID-19 situation).

Step Three: consult your item in the reading room

Our reading room is currently closed due to the current COVID-19 situation.

  • once you have received an email letting you know that your item is ready, please come to the Special Collections reading room, which is on Level 1 of the Philip Robinson Library.
  • please note, if you are not a member of the University you will need to bring Photo ID and report to the Library Reception on arrival.