There are a number of useful resources here intended to help students navigate the collections.

Dissertation subject explorers

These guides, or Subject Explorers, have been created to help undergraduate students to make use of the University of Reading Special Collections in their dissertations.

Although designed for University of Reading students in specific departments, they are available for students at any institution and in any discipline to use.

The English and American Literature Explorer is arranged alphabetically by subject area, with an index at the end; the History Explorer is split into four documents, but a complete list of subject areas may be found in the introduction.

This project was funded by the University’s Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in Applied Undergraduate Research Skills (CETL-AURS), and managed by the Department of English and American Literature and the Department of History, in conjunction with Special Collections staff.



Collection spotlight videos

These videos offer a subject focused overview of some of the treasures of our collections.

Spotlight on History

Spotlight on English

Searching the collections

You will find further advice on searching our collections and access to our database here.

More resources

The Museums and Collections Portal has more guidance for searching and accessing collections across other University of Reading collections.

Search the Location Register database for the location of British and Irish literary manuscripts in around 500 repositories here.