Skip to Main Content

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

From Monday 13th September 2021 Special Collections and Archives is open Monday-Thursday (excluding public holidays), strictly by appointment, to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. Individual Reading Room opening hours are as follows: 

  • Reference Reading Room & Microform Room: Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 11:00-16:30 and Wednesday: 11:00-19:15. 
  • Rare Books Reading Room: Monday - Thursday: 11:00-13:00 & 14:00-16:30.

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

Opening Times

Special Collections & Archives is open Monday-Thursday (excluding public holidays):

Microform and Reference Reading Room:

  • Monday, Tuesday & Thursday: 11:00-16:30
  • Wednesday: 11:00-19:15

Rare Books Reading Room (use for all archival collections, manuscript, books printed pre-1850, fragile and outsize items)

  • 11:00-13:00 and 14:00-16:30.


Means of Access

Reader access is by appointment only is open to UCC staff and students, and members of the public. Access to Special Collections & Archives is Monday-Thursday, strictly by appointment only. We are closed on Fridays.

All appointments are subject to University guidelines. See here for further information about the library's reopening policies.

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


Requesting an Appointment & Items

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.

  • Please note some items cannot be viewed after 16:30 on Wednesday. These include: archival and manuscript items, items printed pre-1850 and some outsize items. 

  • 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.

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

Some facilities will not be available in order to reduce the risk of transmission. These include:

  • Pencils and paper

  • There is a PC in the Reference Reading Room which has library catalogue access only. Should you require online access beyond this we recommend bringing your own device. 

  • 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.