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Virtual Reading Room Service

How to book a digital appointment to view Special Collections material remotely, wherever you are based.

Through our virtual reading room service you can book a digital appointment to view Special Collections material remotely, wherever you are based.  

Digital appointments are one hour in length and are facilitated using an on site visualiser and viewed via the video conferencing platform Zoom. These appointments are suitable for all researchers, whether members of Newcastle University or external researchers, who:

  • are not able to visit Special Collections in person 
  • need to view item(s) unavailable elsewhere to look at a particular piece of information or detail
  • need to assess a Special Collections item(s) for content which they might like to have digitised through our Digitisation Service.

During the digital appointment, a member of Special collections staff will go through the material at your direction while you view it on your screen.

Image of a PC with  an book on a book rest and a visualiser, projecting the image onto the PC

Please note:

  • digital appointments are not offered as a means of expert consultation, rather the role of the member of staff facilitating will be to provide visual access to collections material only. 
  • not all material is suitable for these appointments due to size, condition or content. If the material you request to view is unsuitable for consultation via the virtual reading room service, or if it has already been digitised and is available to view through our online image platform CollectionsCaptured, you will be contacted by a member of Special Collections staff after you have submitted your request form.  
  • in order to use the virtual reading room service you will need to have access to Zoom. 

How to book an appointment

Before booking a digital appointment, you will need to know the details of the archive collection item or a rare book you would like to view:

  • start by browsing or searching our collections
  • once you know what you would like to view, please complete and submit a virtual reading room request form below:

Virtual reading room request form

  • After requesting an item(s):
    • we will retrieve the material from our store 
    • you will be sent an email allocating a date and a time based on preference and availability. This email will also include a Zoom meeting link contain which you will need for your session. The password for the Zoom session will be sent in a separate email. If the date or time you have requested is unavailable, or there is a problem in retrieving your material, we will contact you to discuss alternatives.