Requesting items

We recommend that you contact us in advance of your visit with details of the documents and items that you wish to see as most material is on closed access. This allows us to have the material ready for you for when you arrive.

Identifying items you wish to consult

Use the following sources to find specific items you want to consult:

Special Collections

  • Search our collection descriptions 
    These give an overview of our collections with links to more detailed information. The collection descriptions will also indicate if detailed holdings are listed on the Enterprise catalogue, on the Online Card Catalogue or in handlists.
  • Search the Enterprise catalogue
    The Enterprise catalogue includes details of items in our collections of archives and rare books. Items listed on Enterprise can be ordered online from the catalogue record.
  • Online Card Catalogue
    Use this to find books acquired before 1979 which do not appear on Enterprise. Access is available on request - please contact us if you wish to search the Online Card Catalogue.

Open access material

There is also some material on open access which you can browse. Most are listed on the Enterprise catalogue:

  • a small reference collection in the Reading Room
  • a growing general collection
  • most Beckett Collection books and journals

You do not need to request items in these collections in advance.

Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) collections

Consult the following pages to find out more about the MERL collections available to view on request in the Reading Room:

  • Archives
  • Image library
  • MERL library

Contact us

Once you have found details of the item you want to consult please contact us with the details and when you would like to visit. If you find the item on the Enterprise catalogue you can order it directly from the catalogue record.

If you can't identify items in advance please contact us to discuss your interests. When you visit we will be able to offer you the appropriate catalogues and assistance.

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