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Special Collections

The Library's Special Collections contain a wealth of rare, fascinating and unusual items dating as far back as 1514 to the present day.

The Special Collections Archive can be found on Level 3, Room 305. View our Special Collections Library Guide for further information.

Included in the Special Collections are two additional collections:

The Professor RA Burchell Penguin Collection

The collection consists of around 1,600 paperbacks, including Penguins 1-1194 (1934-1952) and Pelicans A1-A335. More information on the collection and on Professor RA Burchell can be found here. 

The Zine Collection

Abbreviated from fanzine, a zine is a small circulation, hand made, often non-commercial, booklet or magazine. Zines can be produced by one person or a small group of like-minded individuals. They are forged out of a desire and passion to collaborate, to create and to escape. More information can be found here.


Fiction and Wellbeing Collection

The Fiction and Wellbeing collection is a mixture of fiction novels and mindfulness activities such as colouring books and fidget toys. Found on Level 1 beside the Library Cafe, it is a space designed for relaxation; somewhere to recharge with a good book and find some stress relief. 


Plymouth University Authors' Collection

University of Plymouth researchers and alumni are responsible for a vast output of publications. This collection on Level 0 displays some of the more recent physical and eBook publications, and more can be found on Primo.


Law Collection

The law collection encompasses the shelf-mark numbers 340-349 and has its own section, separate from the main library stock, situated on Level 2 of the Library by the west wall, near the lifts.

The collection also includes Law reports.


School Experience Collection

The School Experience Collection is located on Level 2 of the library. These teaching resources include fiction and non-fiction books and classroom resources in a variety of formats, e.g. project packs and teaching artifacts for hands-on learning. Students can borrow up to 40 items from this collection in addition to their usual allocation. 

The classification system is as follows:

J 001 – J 999 Junior non-fiction

OS J 001 – OS J 999 Oversize junior non-fiction

J AAA – J ZZZ Junior fiction

JP AAA – JP ZZZ Junior picture books

JPB AAA - JPB ZZZ Junior picture books (large format)

JPL AAA – JPL ZZZ Junior foreign language picture books