Rare books collection

Rare books are for reference only and may only be consulted at our Library Use Only desk during hours when Library staff are available.  Please refer to the Reception Desk opening hours.  To guarantee that a space is available for you, you are advised to book in advance of your visit; please email library@port.ac.uk. However, if you discover an item you wish to consult whilst visiting the library, provided no one else has booked the space, we will do our best to accommodate you.

When you arrive at reception, please show confirmation of your booking and ask a member of Library staff to collect the item/s for you. Staff will note your details and the details of the items(s) and will ask you to consult them at a table near the Loans Help Desk; you are not able to take the Special Collection items into the open library areas. If items are fragile, we will ask you to handle them with care and refrain from photocopying. You may wish to photograph sections instead. You will be asked to finish your consultation 30 minutes before the desk closes.

Bolton Collection

You may also discover books where the shelfmark is preceded by BOLTON COLL (RESERVE STOCK). This collection was donated to the University by Arthur T. Bolton (1864-1945), architect and architectural historian. It covers architecture, archaeology, art history and garden design. As with the Rare Books collection, items are reference only and a member of library staff will need to collect them for you.

Glass Cupboard

The Glass Cupboard Collection is situated in the atrium. Items in this collection may be fragile or unusual, e.g. pop-up books. You can identify items on the catalogue as the shelfmark is preceded by GLASS CUPBOARD. A member of library staff will collect them for you. Items can be borrowed as normal but if you choose not to take the items away, please return them to a member of staff, if possible.

Using Collections for Teaching

Members of academic staff wishing to use items from these collections in their teaching should contact their Faculty Librarian.