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Special Collections: Request 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

Opening Hours

  • All rooms: Monday-Friday 10:00-16:30.
  • Microform & Reference Reading Room: Wednesday: 10:00-19:15 (Semester Only*).
  • Closed: Weekends, Public Holidays & Christmas Week.

*Excluding January and Easter Recess.

For further details see the Library Calendar.

We are open to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. 

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.

Items from Special Collections that need to be used in the Rare Books Reading Room: Strong Room items, manuscripts, book published pre-1850, outsize and fragile items must now be requested two working days in advance. 

For all other Special Collections' items submit your requests before 16:00 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. 


Members of the public and private researchers are welcome to visit Special Collections & Archives for research purposes, under the Day Pass system. You will be asked to provide details about your research and the resources you intend to use. 

If you are not a member of UCC Library you will need to submit in advance a Special Collections & Archives Material Request form which includes a Day Pass. Please allow sufficient time for your request to be processed ahead of your proposed visit to Special Collections & Archives. Items in the Microform & Reference Reading Rooms do not need to be requested in advance but the form must still be completed.

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.