Special Collections and Archives

Our Special Collections and Archives contain unique primary resources available for consultation by arrangement with the LJMU Archivist. Our accommodation provides climate-controlled storage space and a comfortable reading room for study and research in the Aldham Robarts Library.

The Special Collections & American Studies Reading Room is now open 10am-4pm Monday-Friday, located on the lower ground floor of the Aldham Robarts Library.

Upon entry to the Reading Room, you will be required to sign in at reception, and leave your bags and coats in the lockers provided.  You will then be required to abide by the Reading Room Rules, including no eating or drinking in the reading room and the use of pencils only.

Please note that items from the Special Collections and Archives are for reference use only, and under no circumstances may they be removed from the Aldham Robarts Library.


For access to Special Collections books and theses, please fill out a Special Collections Request Form (this can also be obtained from the Aldham Robarts Library) and hand it in at the Special Collections & American Studies Reading Room.  Alternatively, please email the LJMU Archivist.  Items will ordinarily be ready for you on the next working day, but you will be emailed to advise that material is ready. 

The fragile, rare or sensitive nature of some items may require you to wear protective gloves, use a bookrest or other support. In all instances photocopying is at the discretion of the LJMU Archivist.

Access to our Archive Collections is by appointment with the LJMU Archivist and if you are visiting from outside LJMU, particularly if you have a long way to travel, it is strongly recommended that you contact us in advance of any proposed trip.  You will need to request any material you wish to see at least 24 hours in advance of your visit.

Please note that, in line with other archives, we require personal identification, and may, in some circumstances, ask you to provide references from your research supervisor or other suitable person or body.

LJMU Archivist

Emily Parsons
Aldham Robarts Library
Liverpool John Moores University
Off Maryland Street
Liverpool L1 9DE

Art School Students

Finding Items in the Collections

Items designated 'Special Collection' in the Library Catalogue are materials collected over a number of years in the form of items of historical interest or antiquarian books, limited editions and artists' books, special formats, etc. These can be located by author, title or keyword searches.

The main Special Collections and Archival Collections are listed in the menu on the left of this web page.

The individual items from several of these are listed in the Library Catalogue:

  • Liddell Hart books and journals
  • LJMU rare books
  • Stafford Beer books
  • Thomas J. McCarthy Cold War Collection

Please note that it is not presently possible to search for items by the collections in which they appear, but only by the more usual routes of author, title, keyword, etc.

Separate catalogues are available for most of the archives and collections listed via the menu items on the left of this page, but if you are unsure please contact the LJMU Archivist.

In addition, material from the Stafford Beer Collection and a catalogue of material in the Everyman Theatre Archive can be found in LJMU Digital Collections.

Page last modified 27 February 2014.

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