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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 closed from Wednesday 18 March until further notice, due to the coronavirus public health emergency. In this period when we are unable to grant physical access to our collections, we encourage you to explore our web pages to learn more about our collections and discover our online exhibitions.
Please do also email us at
For wider resources related to special collections and the history of the book, as well as full text databases of historical texts, please see our useful 'Online resources' page, linked to below.
*We are aware that due to a recent migration onto new webpage templates, some of our pages relating to individual collections have misaligned images, may be incomplete or are not linking to other pages correctly. We are currently working to address this and apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please do use the email address above to contact us with any questions you may have or if you have difficulty in finding the information you are looking for.
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