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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 .

Please see our policies regarding re-opening here

Special Collections & Archives Appointments Service: Home

Book an Appointment

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

Accessing & Requesting Special Collections & Archives Service Items

Face-to-face services at Special Collections & Archives have resumed in a limited capacity as of 20 July 2020. 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.

All appointments are subject to University guidelines.

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.
  • visiting from outside Ireland please ensure you have completed the required 14 day self-isolation prior to visiting our service. For further information 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 Reference, 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.
  • Please note the shelves in the Reference Reading Room cannot be browsed.
  • We cannot accommodate group bookings at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser and wipes are available, and there are protective screens at the public counters.
  • Advance notice of arrival time must be given as you will be collected from the Library Reception Desk.
  • On the day of your appointment please report to the reception desk at the Boole Library. A member of staff will meet you and escort you to Special Collections & Archives. The rest of the library will not be available for access. 
  • 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.

  • Book scanner: if images are required please use your phone or tablet. 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.

Return to Campus - UCC Staff & Students

IMPORTANT: Before Your Appointment Is Confirmed

UCC Students

  • Students must complete UCC's Student COVID 19 Induction Course, available as a self-enroll course on Canvas: before they make use of Special Collections & Archives. After completing this course, please take a screenshot of the confirmation page showing the completion of the course.
  • Special Collections & Archive appointment requests will not be approved until the confirmation course screenshot has been forwarded to After receipt of this, staff will confirm your booking.

UCC Staff

  • Staff must complete UCC's COVID 19 Return-to-Work Induction Course, available as a self-enroll course on Canvas: before they make use of Special Collections & Archives.

Return to Campus - External Readers & Visitors

Public Health Advice

We would especially ask you to follow all the public health advice. If you are unwell or believe you may have COVID-19 you should isolate yourself and contact your doctor. Do not leave home and do not to come to Special Collections & Archives.

Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (38 degrees Celsius or higher), chills or sweating
  • Shortness of breath or breathing difficulties
  • New or worsening cough
  • Loss of or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Vomiting or diarrhorea

Other symptoms which may occur are published on the Health Service Executive's website. If you have answered yes to any of these please contact your doctor, do not leave home and do not to come to Special Collections & Archives.


If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 (within the last 14 days):

  • Through recent travel or travel abroad
  • Through contact with a confirmed or presumed positive COVID-19 case
  • Through contact with a person who is self-isolating because they have symptoms of COVID-19 and is awaiting to be tested or awaiting results of a COVID-19 test
  • Through staying overnight in residential care.

If you have answered yes to any of these please contact your doctor, do not leave home and do not to come to Special Collections & Archives.

If you have travelled from abroad to Ireland. Consider when did you arrive in the country? Have you self-isolated for 14 days?

COVID-19 is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. The Health Service Executive has published guidance on how COVID-19 is spread here. The following principles are important in ensuring UCC remains a safe workplace:

  • Stop shaking hands and hugging.

  • Stay 2 metres apart from others.

  • Wash your hands regularly.

  • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.

  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.

  • Disinfect surfaces.

Physical distancing is recommended to reduce the spread of infection. The current recommended distance of separation is 2 metres and this should be maintained. The greater the distance between people and the shorter the interaction time, the lower the chances of infection. A close contact is considered to be spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of someone infected with coronavirus. UCC will follow public health advice on the use of personal protective equipment such as gloves and face masks. For further information of personal protective equipment see here.

How to Use Special Collections & Archives Appointment Service

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 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.