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UCD Library : An Leabharlann, An Coláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath

Special Collections

Special Collections contains unique book, archival and manuscript collections. UCD students and staff, and external users, can consult the collections in the Special Collections reading room. Special Collections is located on Level 1 of the James Joyce Library.

Special Collections shelves

Archival Collections

This collection contains unique and irreplaceable documents which tell the stories of our culture’s past.

Special Collections top of a page

Printed Collections

This collection contains books, pamphlets and journals on a variety of subjects spanning the 16th to the 20th century.

Portait of kavanagh

Modern Literary Papers

This collection contains modern literary papers in the area of modern Anglo-Irish and English literature, including poetry, drama, short stories, and novels. 

Bird illumination

Teaching and Research Support

Special Collections staff can offer consultations for individuals or groups and can also provide training and awareness workshops on request.

Yeats quote for SC homepage


Information on the highlights of UCD's poetry collection which contains a wealth of important poetry spanning 19th to the 21st centuries.

Landing image of book for SC homepage - YouTube channel

Special Collections videos

Videos highlighting our collections, exhibitions and readings.

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The collections are housed in environmentally-controlled closed-access storage. Staff retrieve material for readers during Special Collections opening hours.

Monday - Friday: 10am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm

Saturday - Sunday: Closed

  • Printed collections are made available to staff and students of UCD, and to eligible external readers, in the reading room during these hours. Note: Alternative arrangements to facilitate readers who are not free to use Special Collections during regular opening hours may be arranged depending on the circumstance and the item in question.  This facility is for printed material only
  • Archival collections are only available, by appointment, to research students, teaching staff and scholars. Research students should also have a letter of recommendation from their supervisor.

To make an appointment  or alternative arrangements to access printed material please contact


  • Special Collections material must remain in the Reading Room
  • Readers may use pencils or laptop computers to take notes; the use of any kind of ink is strictly forbidden.
  • When consulting material, readers must observe the handling guidelines displayed in the Reading Room.

Photocopying is not permitted or undertaken. Digital photography is possible for printed collections only, within the constraints of Irish copyright law, and in consultation with Special Collections staff.