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UCC Library now Re-opened.

Both Boole and Brookfield BHSL Libraries have re-opened with the safety of Library users and staff as our chief guiding principle.

Please see our policies and important changes regarding re-opening here

Update from our Director of Library Services, Colette McKenna regarding Library Services During COVID Level 5 - Here

Special Collections & Archives Appointments Service: Home

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Special Collections & Archives Appointments

You can now request an appointment with our Special Collections & Archives Service

Submit a request here and we'll will get back to you as soon as possible with an available slot.

Click here to make a Request

Using Special Collections & Archives

Visual representation with icons of how to use Special Collections & Archives in COVID-19 2020.

Accessing & Requesting Special Collections & Archives Service Items

Face-to-face services at Special Collections & Archives have resumed in a limited capacity. Please note that we have reduced capacity due to social distancing measures, and access is by appointment only. 

Access to Special Collections & Archives is Monday-Friday from 10:00-12:45.

As per Irish Government direction from midnight 21 October for 6 weeks all counties are placed on Level 5 under the Plan for Living with COVID-19. The advice is: Stay at home with certain exceptions. Please note this time frame may be extended. 

All appointments are subject to University guidelines. Library users will not be granted access to the library if they are not wearing a suitable face covering (unless they can provide an acceptable reason as outlined in the regulation). Please wear a face covering at all times when in the Library. See here for further information about the library's reopening policies.

We would especially ask you to follow all the public health advice, and not to come to Special Collections & Archives if you’re feeling unwell. If you are:

  • a UCC student or staff member please see here.

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

Please read the following carefully:

  • Requests for appointments to use any Special Collections items (on the library catalogue: Special Collections by Request, Special Collections by Appointment; and microform, newspapers and manuscripts ) should be made at least two business days in advance so that the material can be prepared. Same-day requests will not be possible.

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

  • Opening hours are Monday-Friday 10:00-12:45.
  • There is a limit of 10 Special Collections items per visit. There is a limit of 25 items (descriptive entries) from the Archives Service per visit. Microfilm and Archive items may be requested in one application. Special Collection items must be requested individually.
  • We cannot accommodate group bookings at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser and wipes are available, and there are protective screens at the public counters.
  • The items you ordered will be waiting for you at your pre-allocated workspace. You can leave these on the desk when you are finished with them.
  • Items will be quarantined for 72 hours between users. Please note items you may request may not be available for this reason.

Please note that an appointment is not guaranteed until a confirmation email has been received.

Click HERE to make an appointment.

If you have already applied for an appointment a request ID will be sent to your email address. It is possible to request additional items for a particular visit by selecting "Additional items for an appointment" on the form. Up to 10 items can be submitted as a part of a request. All items must be submitted in advance two business days for Special Collections items, one week for Archives Service. No request for items or a workspace is guaranteed until you receive a confirmation email. 

During Your Visit

Bathrooms will be available as usual, with additional hygiene measures in place. However, some facilities will not be available in order to reduce the risk of transmission. These include:

  • Pencils and paper

  • Open Access PCs: if you require online access, please ensure that you bring your own laptop or tablet. Alternatively, staff will be available to search on your behalf, but using your own device is recommended.

  • The book scanner is available. Please bring your own USB key. Please note that copying is subject to copyright, and not all items can be copied

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.

How to Use Special Collections & Archives Appointment Service

Opening Hours

As per Irish Government direction from midnight 21 October 2020 for 6 weeks all counties are placed on Level 5 under the Plan for Living with COVID-19. The advice is: Stay at home with certain exceptions. Please note this time frame may be extended. 

Previous appointment services in Special Collections and Archives are suspended during Level 5.

We are offering the following as alternate means of access to Special Collections & Archives:

  • 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 collection queries or other queries please email:

In order to facilitate research queries, a virtual appointment service for Special Collections and Archives will shortly be established and details will be forthcoming.