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Special Collections: Request Special Collections & Archives Items

Special Collections is home to manuscripts, older printed books and unique & distinct collections.

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Request Special Collections & Archives Items

You can now request items online with our Special Collections & Archives Service.

Click Here to Request Items

4-28 January 2022: Special Collections & Archives will be open Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays) to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. Individual Reading Room opening hours are as follows:

  • Reference Reading Room & Microform Room: Monday-Friday: 11:00-16:30 
  • Rare Books Reading Room: Monday-Friday: 11:00-13:00 & 14:00-16:30.

Use of Special Collections & Archives is subject to UCC Library guidelines. 

31 January – 13 May 2022: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 11:00-16:30 and Wednesday: 11:00-19:15. Check website for individual room openings.  

Requesting Special Collections & Archives Service Items

UCC Staff & Students, External Readers

All items in Special Collections & Archives must be used only in the Special Collections & Archives' spaces.

All items showing 'Special Collections Reference' and all Microform do not need to be requested in advance.

Use the online request form to request any item showing 'Special Collections by Request' / 'Special Collections by Appointment' / all manuscript & archival material.

If requesting Special Collections' items submit your requests before 17:00 and they will be available the next day. 

If requesting Archives items a request should be made at least one week in advance so that the material can be prepared. Same-day requests will not be possible.

Please note some items cannot be viewed after 16:30 on Wednesday. These are archival and manuscript items, items printed pre-1850 and some outsize items. 

If you have already requested items for a particular day or series of days a request ID will be sent to your email address. Request additional items for a particular day by selecting "Request additional items" on the form. 

The contact details you provide will be used for Contact Tracing purposes and kept for 1 month.


All visitors must use the online request form to request any item. This is for the purposes of contact tracing and your details will be held for one month. 

Searching for Books on the Library Catalogue

The Library Catalogue is a listing of most of the material, both hardcopy and online that the Library holds.

You can search the Library Catalogue from the UCC Library homepage.

Choose your type of search: Keyword (default), Author, Title or Subject  from the buttons above the box.

Using the keyword search, enter words from the title, contents or subject. Click on the search icon or hit enter and browse your results.

Below is an example of a book title showing bibliographic and location details. 

Using Archival Collections - Descriptive Lists

A Descriptive List is a fundamental finding aid for an archival collection. It should contain information which details the provenance of a collection and its system of arrangement. The list facilitates researchers in locating documents of specific interest to their research topic. It also assists researchers in assessing the collection as a primary source and judge the evidential value of the archives.

Each fully listed and open to the public large archival collection in UCC Library Archives Service has its descriptive list available online as a pdf from the Collection's specific webpage. An A-Z list of archival collections can be found here.

The online pdf copy of a descriptive list is keyword searchable. To bring up a Find box onscreen, click Ctrl+F, then enter a keyword e.g. a person's surname/a place name. Please be aware that spellings of names and places change over centuries so you may have to conduct multiple searches. 

Contained within the list will be a brief description of each item in a collection which will include details such as the date and size of the item. Each entry will have a call number. When you wish to look at a particular item please provide the archivist with the relevant call number(s).

Below is a typical example of a list entry from IE BL/EP/R (Ryan of Inch Collection)

20.        2 April 1692

See Also /8

Probate with copy of the will of Daniel Ryan, Inchiofogarty. Appoints as executors his wife Frances (née Raggert), and his son John. Other children named are Nicolas, Andrew, Patrick, Joseph and Frances.

2 skins

In this entry, the call number is IE/EP/R/20, the date of the item is 2 April 1692 and it comprises of two skins (parchment sheets). With an entry See Also /8, information relating to this item can also be found in item BL/EP/R/8.