Our collections, which include rare books, archives and manuscripts, are substantial and varied, particularly for a University of this age and size. The majority result from donations: the tradition of acquiring special material is as old as the University, the bequest of the Overstone Library in 1920 setting a pattern. The collecting of manuscripts and archives began in a systematic way in the 1960s, and from the start has been dominated by the programme to collect and manage British publishers’ archives.

Two of our collections, The Samuel Beckett Collection and the Archive of British Printing and Publishing, are designated collections under the Arts Council England’s Designation Scheme.

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