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Special Collections: Facilities & Services

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

Reference Reading Room

The Reference Reading Room is the general reading room for users of Special Collections. 

The room has two catalogue points (no log-on is required for their use) as well as five computers which require a log-on. There is one computer dedicated to older types of audio-visual material.

The room contains general reference material material  as well as material on Irish literature and history, Celtic Studies, Church History and British History. There are maps and facsimiles of texts such as The Book of Kells present also.

Rare Books Reading Room

The Rare Books Reading Room is used to view manuscripts, material in fragile condition.

There are small displays of material from Special Collections and Archives within the room.

Please note that classes also use this room when viewing selections of material and the space may be shared for multiple purposes.

Microform Room

The Microform Room is located off the Reference Reading Room. It contains:

  • Microform readers x2
  • Microform reader\printers x4
  • Microform reader\scanners (ScanPro 3000) x2.

A range of material including manuscripts, parliamentary papers, maps, census and newspapers is available on microform.


Please bring a memory stick if you would ike to use either the book scanner or a ScanPro 3000. In order to be as green as possible a printer is not connected to either the book scanner or ScanPro 3000. 


The Microform Room contains two ScanPro 3000 microform reader /scanners. These machines are compact and feature high-resolution optics and fast, high-resolution scanning at all magnifications. Cutting edge software, including advanced OCR technology lets the user automatically locate selected words on the microform and link to secondary sources of information when doing research. With a single click word searchable PDFs can be created and saved to memory sticks. 

Book Scanner

The Rare Books Reading Room contains a book scanner which may be used for items from Special Collections. Please check with staff if scanning (PDF, JPEG or TIFF) is possible. Scanning may not be possible if UCC Library does not hold copyright or if the item is too fragile. Items above A3 cannot be scanned. To copy this size please bring a camera with you to take a photograph.

​Other Equipment

  • Magnifying glass / sheet
  • Extension leads

Please check with staff if one of these is required.

Services for Remote Researchers


Special Collections offers a remote copying service to supply copies of original or microfilmed documents we hold. We can send them to you electronically or in the post.

Family History Research Service

Special Collections does not offer a family history research service. If you wish to commission someone to carry out research on your behalf please contact us and a list of researchers - private individuals and organisations will be forwarded to you. UCC Library's Special Collections do not sponsor or endorse the individuals or organisations named and will not be responsible for research arrangements, payments or results.

New Equipment

Opening Hours

Special Collections and Archives Service have standardised their opening hours as follows:

From 12 November - 20 December 2019:

Microform & Reference Reading Room: Monday & Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 11:00 – 16:30; Wednesday 11:00 – 20:15.

Rare Books Reading Room: Monday – Friday 11:00 – 13:00 and 14:00 – 16:30. 
Special Collections & Archives are closed 23 December 2019 and 2-10 January 2020. Apologies for any inconvenience.
This is to facilitate essential works in the reading rooms and to deliver a better service to all our patrons in the second semester. There will be no access to any items from any of the collections nor will be there be any access to the spaces in Special Collections & Archives.

Special Collections & Archives will reopen at 11:00 on 13 January 2020.