Services for staff and students

We offer some extra services to help staff and students at the University of Bradford make the most of Special Collections.

Fetch service

We offer a limited fetch service for University of Bradford staff and students.

The service is only available for:

  • Printed books with "reference" status on the Library catalogue.
  • University of Bradford staff and students in good standing with the Library.

Please note that

  • Fetched books are for reference in the J.B. Priestley Library only.
  • Books must be returned to the Library Counter during its opening hours.
  • Care instructions will be supplied with your book. Please look after it.
  • While you have the book, it is on your UB number and it is your responsibility to return it safely.

The following cannot be fetched: you will need to arrange a visit to the Reading Room:

  • Archives, manuscripts, pamphlets, ephemera, maps and oversize books.
  • Printed books with "Supervised" status e.g. hand-printed (pre-1850), rare or unique, fragile or significant provenance.
  • Material in demand in the Reading Room or required to run our services may also not be available.

Contact Special Collections staff to arrange your fetch. If we are not available we will contact you as soon as we return.

Support for research

Special Collections are not just for humanities research! Any work with a historical or local dimension may be enhanced by use of unique and distinctive collections.

One-to-one advice. Please let us know about your research interests. It may be that we have relevant material which isn't highlighted on the website, or know of something elsewhere that might help you.

Funding bids. We are very keen to collaborate on bids for research funding where our involvement can support you. For instance, to digitise resources in Special Collections to enable more research and wider access.  Witness our Wellcome-funded project Putting Flesh on the Bones.

Community engagement and demonstrating impact. We can help by linking your research with external audiences, both locally and worldwide.

Workshops. We offer workshops on our areas of expertise such as archival research and social media as part of Library and University programmes for researchers.

Support for learning and teaching

Small group sessions in the Reading Room, introducing students to our collections and explaining how to make the most of primary sources elsewhere.  We can accommodate up to 10 students at a time. Where it is impossible to split a group, we can offer similar sessions in teaching rooms, though we find students benefit more from seeing original materials in the distinctive setting of the Reading Room.

One to one sessions with students to help with their dissertations and research projects. These tend to work best as follow-ups to the group sessions where students have been encouraged to discover more.

Learning objects. We are very keen to develop re-usable resources which enable students to encounter collections in virtual space.

Advice on careers in the heritage sector (libraries, archives, museums). We can see students individually or give talks to groups.

Voluntary opportunities.  Our externally funded projects often provide opportunities for voluntary work for students interested in the heritage sector or academic careers. We also encourage students in digital or media subjects to use our collections and services as material for development projects.

Support for marketing and fundraising

We can offer:

  • Large collections of historic images of the University
  • Details of significant stories and people from its history

The 100 Objects exhibition was created partly to make such stories and images freely available - take a look! It includes a much-loved film of 1960s students, the meaning of the coat of arms, the story of the mace, Emm Lane and Heaton Mount, and much more.

More generally, the collections are unique and distinctive assets which help make the case for the University in all kinds of ways. For example, our world-class peace archives, books and pamphlets are inter-twined with the unique stories of the City's radical past and the development of Peace Studies at the University.

We're happy to host distinguished visitors or to help develop your events.

Support for heritage and records

Special Collections staff have expertise in caring for and managing all kinds of heritage material. We are happy to assist colleagues in looking after such material which belongs to the University of Bradford even if it is not part of Special Collections.

For instance, we can offer:

  • Advice on safe storage.
  • Help with heritage/records aspects of your emergency plan.
  • Help with salvage of damaged documents, such as air-drying wet documents.
  • Arrangements made for Special Collections which might help other departments e.g. our deal with Harwell Document Recovery Services.