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Library Re-opening

UCC Library is committed to reopening both Boole and Brookfield libraries as soon as it is safe to do so: the safety of library users and staff is the chief guiding principle. Read more about our plans and schedule for re-opening our Libraries .

Special Collections: Handling Special Collections Items

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

Use Special Collections' Material

All material is for consultation only and cannot be removed from Special Collections or borrowed from the Library.

Handling Material

When handling material please remember: 

  • Hands must be clean
  • Use book snakes to keep book pages open
  • Use weights to keep maps or larger items lying flat
  • Use book rests/cushions to support bindings
  • Do not put any undue pressure on bindings
  • Do not lean on the original item
  • Never touch the surface of a print/drawing/photograph/map
  • Ask for assistance if using rolled items, or folded items with attached seals
  • Do not use flash on the camera

Food, drink and ink are not allowed in any of the reading rooms.

Please contact Special Collections staff if any assistance is needed.

Videos: Handling Special Collections' Material

Presentation: Using Special Collections for Research

Accessing Special Collections Beyond UCC Library

If you want to visit other third level institutions there are various access schemes open to UCC staff and students.

In all cases please email the relevant Special Collections in advance in order to request the material. The staff in each institution will inform you of the relevant procedures which may be different to UCC Library's.

For more information about locating the relevant special collections' material to your study use the latest edition of the Directory of Rare Books and Special Collections in the UK and Ireland.

Opening Hours

Following Government directives that higher education institutions should close, UCC physical campus is closed. If you have any queries relating to our collections please email specialcollectionsarchives@ucc.ie as this email address will be monitored regularly. Please note this date may be extended.

Face-to-face services at Special Collections & Archives have resumed in a limited capacity as of 20 July 2020: Monday-Friday 10-12:45. Please note that we will have reduced capacity due to social distancing measures, and access will be by appointment only. Walk-ins and same-day requests will not be possible. To book items & a workspace please click HERE.

UCC Library's new Scan and Deliver Service is now live! Submit a request and we'll scan a book chapter/journal article and deliver it to you via email. There will be limited access to material from Special Collections. Every effort will be made to fulfill requests but this may not always be possible due to availability, copyright restrictions, size and condition of materials.