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Special Collections



The Foyle Special Collections Library holds over 200,000 items – printed books, pamphlets and periodicals, as well as maps, slides, manuscripts, typescripts and photographs – ranging in date from the 15th century to the present day.

Many items are extremely rare; some are unique. All offer a wealth of opportunities for teaching and research, and together they form part of our local, national and international documentary heritage.

The Foyle Special Collections Library reading room is currently closed until further notice, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
We continue to welcome remote enquiries from both King’s staff and students and external enquirers. Please contact us at

If you are a member of King's teaching staff, we are also happy to discuss developing onlne special collections seminars for you and your students.

We encourage you to explore our collections via our webpages, online exhibitions and the Digital Scholarship webpage. For wider resources related to special collections and the history of the book, as well as full text databases of historical texts, we have compiled a portfolio of useful 'Online resources', which is linked to below.

Information on all Libraries & Collections sites and current services is available here.

*We are aware that due to a recent migration onto new webpage templates, some of our pages relating to individual collections have misaligned images.

Collection strengths include:
  • Exploration and travel
  • World history
  • Theology
  • Languages and literatures
  • Science
  • Medicine

Find out more about using Special Collections                                                                       



Collection Highlights

Marsden Collection

Marsden Collection

The Marsden Collection comprises books from the library of William Marsden (1754-1836), orientalist…


HG Adler Collection

HG Adler Collection

The HG Adler Collection was the personal reference library of the novelist, poet and Holocaust…



 Using the Special Collections