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Special Collections - archives and rare books: Accessing our Collections


In term time we are open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays

by appointment only.

To make an appointment please email

Accessing our Collections

Accessing DMU Special Collections is free and we are open to all – staff and students of DMU and other universities, alumni, private researchers and members of the public. The reading room is wheelchair accessible and fitted with a hearing loop.

You will need an appointment to visit us, and you are welcome to contact us in advance and discuss your research needs. It is also useful to look at our catalogues and let us know if there is something specific you would like to consult.

When you arrive for your first visit, you will be asked to complete a reader registration form and show a form of ID, for example, your DMU student pass or a driving licence. By signing the reader registration form you agree to respect our code of conduct while visiting the archive. If you visit again, you will be asked to sign in using our visitor book.


You will be asked to put coats and bags in a locker and take only what you need to the research desks. Staff will give you a brief introduction to using Special Collections and the specific materials you are interested in, including safe handling of archive documents. You may be asked to complete an order slip for the specific items you wish to view.


If you want to take photographs or have scans made, please discuss this with staff. There are charges for users from outside DMU.


DMU subscribes to Eduroam providing wifi access to users from other higher education institutions. If you do not qualify for Eduroam please contact us in advance and we can set up guest wifi access. Power points are available for laptops.


Please note food and drink are not allowed in the reading room. ‚ÄčIf you need refreshments during your research time, there is a cafe in the Library building and in several other locations across campus. 


Access Requirements

DMU Special Collections strives to be a welcoming and inclusive environment where everybody can enjoy access to our rich heritage.

If you have specific requirements please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss with staff what reasonable adjustments we can make to ensure your visit is comfortable and fruitful, or mention it to staff during your visit. We will keep anything disclosed to us private and confidential.

Remote Enquiries

If you cannot visit us in person, please contact us to discuss your enquiry. We can advise you on our resources and the feasibility of finding useful information in our collection. We will undertake the first 15 minutes of the enquiry for free. After this we should be able to tell you if it is worth continuing with the research. If you go ahead, £2.50 will be charged per 15 minutes of staff time.

Reprographics Fees

For users from outside DMU we have introduced some charges for reprographics and research.


A4 and A3 black and white: £0.30 per side

A4 and A3 colour: £0.60 per side


PDF: £0.50 per page

JPEG at 300 dpi: £1.00 per scan (up to A3 size)

JPEG at 300 dpi: £5.00 per scan (over A3 size)

Camera Pass:

£2.50 a day to use personal camera

NB – camera use must still be within copyright guidelines and restrictions

All photocopying and scanning will be done by staff on behalf of the researcher

Please note that due to the fragile nature of the items held in Special Collections, it is not always possible to copy them

Remote orders:

As above + £2.50 fee for the staff time involved in locating and preparing the items to be reproduced + postage if relevant

Digitisation (including audio-visual materials):

For already digitised items £3 per digital file

For items needing digitising £3 per digital file, plus £5 per item for the staff time of digitising

Finding Us

We are located in Kimberlin Library, in DMU's central Leicester campus. 

A campus map and transport guide can be found here.

Please report to Library Reception on arrival.

By signing the reader registration form you will agree to the following:

  • New users must complete a registration form on their first visit
  • By signing the registration form users agree to abide by this code of conduct at this and all future visits
  • Coats and bags must be stored in such a way that they will not hinder other users and must not be kept on top of the research desks. Lockers are provided
  • Users should request items using the order slips provided. If a large amount of material has been ordered it will not be brought all at once
  • Documents, publications, artworks and artefacts must not be removed from the reading room
  • Care must be taken when handling documents. Users are asked to ensure they have clean hands. Book rests and lead weights are available
  • Users must write in pencil only. Power points are available for laptops
  • Users must not eat or drink at the research desks
  • Photographs may be taken within copyright guidelines and for personal research use only. Users must complete a reprographics form. If users wish to use photographs in a publication they must make a request in writing
  • Users are asked to be mindful of health and safety and to follow staff instructions in case of emergency evacuation


Reader Registration Form

How to get to the archive from the Library Reception