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Special Collections and Archives


St Peters House Special Collection

St Peters House Library Special Collection is located on the ground floor behind the help desk. It contains many items including; limited edition illustrated books, artists’ books, handmade items, books on dress history, design exhibitions, historical pamphlets and ephemera. Some of them are very rare and valuable.

All items can be consulted for reference purposes during the help desk during opening hours.

The collection can be searched online using the library catalogue. To search just for material held in the Special Collection use the search loantype:"spec coll" and add your keywords at the end.  For example: loantype:"spec coll" wonder* will return the book Alice in Wonderland and other books containing the word 'wonder' in the title or subject.

St Peters House Library also has a large microform collection containing a wide range of historic material including lots of Underground and alternative press items.  Material can be viewed, and print or electronic copies made using the digital microform reader/scanner. For a full list of the collection content see here.


St Peters House Primary Resource Collection

On the 1st floor of St Peters House Library you will find filing cabinets and shelves containing original retail catalogues from the 1970s to the 1990s, plus original men’s, women’s and lifestyle magazines from the 1960s to the 1990s. 

The catalogues are filed alphabetically by subject area.

Artists' Books

An artists' book is a form of artistic expression conceived by artists using the function or the format of a book as inspiration. There may be a handmade element. Sometimes the book might be a one off unique object, or just a regular printed book as we know it. In many instances though they are produced in small print runs and often self-published. We have a good selection of artists' books in our Special collection at St Peters House Library.

Artists' books in the catalogue

A selection of artists' books from the collection