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Special Collections' & Archives' Subject Support: Academic Staff: Why Use Special Collections & Archives?

How Special Collections can help you with your research, teaching, learning & assignments.

Teaching & Learning

Our diverse collections of rare and unique printed books and manuscripts can be used to support teaching within the University.

Teaching sessions can be conducted independent of Special Collections & Archives' staff within Special Collections & Archives' spaces or, if requested Special Collections & Archives' staff can provide introductory information for using rare books and manuscript archives or specific "show and tell" explorations which draw on individual items of interest to enhance the learning experience. We also help to deliver hands-on group sessions with material from our unique collections of archives, manuscripts, rare books and objects.

In each case it is difficult for us to provide in-depth training and support on a one-to one basis without prior notice. Please contact the relevant person to set up a session tailored to your needs:

For Your Consideration

Special Collections Engaging With UCC's Community

Listen to Elaine Harrington, UCC Library's Special Collections Librarian discussing how Special Collections works with academic departments on Shush! Sounds from UCC Library. Read the complementary blog post to the interview on The River-side

Presentations on Using Special Collections & Archives

We consider what guides us in teaching & learning and how that can impact any person coming to Special Collections. For this we refer to Bass (1999)

  • Which learning outcome is the one thing that students would retain from this [module] after leaving?
  • Could I honestly say that I spent the most amount of time in the [module] teaching to the goal I valued most?

Part of our teaching philosophy is that we are committed to sharing our current knowledge and desire to continue to learn. To this end we present at conferences and seminars.

Opening Hours

From Monday 29th November 2021 Special Collections and Archives is 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, Tuesday & Thursday, Friday: 11:00-16:30 and Wednesday: 11:00-19:15.
  • Rare Books Reading Room: Monday - Friday: 11:00-13:00 & 14:00-16:30.

For more information about what items must be requested and to request them via the online request form see Request Special Collections & Archives.

In addition we continue offering:

  • Scan & Deliver for Special Collections' material including items in the Reference Reading Room, Microform and items that show Special Collections by Request / Special Collections by Appointment on the library catalogue.
  • Reprographic requests for manuscripts & archival material via

Every effort will be made to fulfil scan & deliver / reprographic types of requests, but this may not always be possible due to availability, copyright restrictions, size and condition of materials.

If you have any queries relating to our collections please email This email address is monitored regularly.