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Document handling

The materials held in Special Collections can be fragile, of considerable age, and sometimes very rare or even unique. We ask for your help in trying to preserve our collections by taking care when using them.


  • use only pencil for taking notes
  • use the book rests and chain weights provided in the Reading Room
  • keep loose items in the correct order, and with the right box or packet
  • report any damage you discover
  • handle with care and avoid placing spines and bindings under stress
  • where present, re-tie tapes around books after use
  • ask a member of staff for sheets of Perspex if you want to make tracings
  • comply with copyright legislation (Special Collections staff can advise)
  • Comply with any requests made by Special Collections staff.

Please do not:

  • mark or make erasures in any item
  • place open items face-down, lean on them, or rest anything on them
  • cut untrimmed pages
  • photocopy any pages yourself.

Users will have access to these guidelines when consulting material in the Special Collections Reading Room.

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