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University of Bradford

University of Bradford, Special Collections, J.B. Priestley Library

Special Collections at the University of Bradford holds over 100 collections of archives and rare books, reflecting the University's strengths in social sciences and applied sciences and the history and culture of Bradford and its Yorkshire environment. Archaeology, religion, literature, politics, industrial history and above all perhaps peace studies, one of the University's best known departments. Our newest collections include:

  • the archive of passionate writer and archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes, which joins the archive of her husband, J.B. Priestley
  • peace movement archives collected by the Commonweal Library
  • biographical material about modern English bishops.

Archives Hub Special features: Hats, Are we there yet? ,Volcanoes and earthquakes.

Telephone: +44 (0) 1274 235256

Address: J.B. Priestley Library, University of Bradford, Bradford, W. Yorks. BD7 1DP, Engalnd, United Kingdom
Directions: The Special Collections Reading Room is located in Room 02.3 (Basement Floor) of the J.B. Priestley Library on city campus.

Opening hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10.00-16.30. Please see:

Access conditions: Accessible to the public

Access information: Special Collections are open to, and intended for, anyone who might benefit from using them. However, space and staffing constraints mean that appointments are required. Access is subject to preservation requirements and must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Advance Orders: Available. Send us details of the materials you’d like to consult.  We can have them out ready for you, so you can begin your research at once.

Readers' ticket: None required

Photographs Allowed: depending on the material
Microfilimg service:
Digitisation service:
Photocopying service: Yes

Disabled access: Yes.
Facilities for disabled persons: The Reading Room is accessible by lifts and level floors. However the layout of Floor 02 pre-dates modern standards and can be difficult for very large or long wheelchairs.  We can book a back-up room with level access if necessary.

Refreshment area: Student Central (adjoining the Library): Costa Coffee and Union shop.

History: The present staffed Special Collections service was created when the University Library received access funding from the Research Support Libraries Programme in 2000.Initially we concentrated on mapping the collections, and establishing policies and procedures for preservation, disaster control and collection development.Over the last few years, the focus of our work has shifted towards marketing, outreach and fundraising, especially encouraging virtual engagement with the collections. Our achievements were recently recognised by the Archive Accreditation Scheme: we are the first English university to receive this prestigious award. Since establishing the service, we have acquired other exciting resources, such as the Commonweal Archives and the Jacquetta Hawkes Archive, and enriched those already here, particularly the J. B. Priestley Archive. We are very grateful for the help we have received from colleagues and volunteers over the past years.

Notes: We encourage visitors to use their own devices to take images for personal research use. This is at the discretion of the staff member on duty and subject to copyright and care.

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