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Archives and Special Collections: About

Service update January 2021

Following the latest COVID-19 guidance issued by the Scottish Government our archives reading room will reopen offering a limited service from Monday 26 April 2021. Our archives team continue to have limited access to our collections and are operating under new procedures in line with COVID-19 guidance produced by the university for returning to campus working.

Full details are available at:

Welcome to Archives and Special Collections

We hold the historical collections of the university which cover a wide range of subjects including film, literature, politics, medicine and sport. This material can be consulted in the archives reading room which is located in room S10 of the lower library corridor. 

Opening hours: 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

Following the latest COVID-19 guidance issued by the Scottish Government on 5 January 2021 our archives reading room is currently closed. For further information please email

Using the archives reading room

The reading room is a space reserved for researchers wishing to consult our archives & special collections. As these collections comprise valuable, unique, fragile and irreplaceable items special rules and regulations are in place to ensure the preservation and security of our collections. If you plan to use the reading room please note that:

  • No food or drink may be consumed in the reading room
  • No material may be removed from the reading room
  • No pens may be used in the reading room
  • Notes can be taken with a pencil / laptop
  • Bags and coats must be placed in the area provided. 

Please note that additional measures will be in place when the reading room re-opens to ensure safety and well-being of staff and visitors:

  • No material such as pencils, paper, magnifying glasses will be provided - please ensure you bring your own equipment
  • Gloves will be provided which must be worn when consulting material
  • It will be recommended that visitors wear their own face masks during their visit

If you are planning to use the archives reading room please note that appointments should be made 72 hours in advance of your visit by emailing us at

Please note that material may be temporarily unavailable due to quarantining of items following use. 

If you are visiting the university for the first time details of how to get to the campus can be found here

Copying Charges


There is no charge for short visits, but if supervised access is required over an extended period, we may at our discretion require a contribution to our costs, up to the full employment cost.

Reproduction for private academic use and non-commercial publications

The use of digital cameras by researchers is permitted. There is no charge for personal copying however we encourage users to make a contribution to our current Scottish Political Archive crowdfunding project - details at:

Archives staff can also provide copies of material on request. The standard charges are as follows:

  • Photocopies:30p per A4 photocopy; 50p per A3 copy, + VAT if applicable.
  • Pdf scans of documents:£1 per image + VAT if applicable.
  • Digital copy of photograph or image:£5 per image + VAT if applicable.
  • Payments for copying orders can be made via the University's online shop.

Reproduction for commercial use

In all cases, an acknowledgement of the source and a copy of the publication for our archives is a minimum requirement.

  • Photographs or digital images:£50 + VAT for the first image, £30 for each subsequent image. No additional charge for making the copy. Includes copyright fees where the University holds the copyright in the image.
  • Copyright fees for publishing text are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. 

New reading room

During the Campus Central building works alternative arrangements are in place to access our collections. Further information on our new reading room can be found on our archives blog.

Archives & Special Collections online


Documents relating to use of the archives reading room and Archives and Special Collections policies.