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Using Our Collections

Special Collections are available for everyone to use, whether they are Brunel students or staff, or external users. The collections cover a wide range of subject areas, including transport history, the Channel Tunnel, working class autobiographies, poetry, dialect and advocacy. Please see the collection descriptions for information on individual collections.

Brunel University Archives, including the BFSS Archives, has recently relocated from the Old School House into the University Library.   We are now offering a joint service with Brunel Special Collections.  

We have now reopened a joint enquiry service.  Unfortunately, this is limited due to not all of our archives and collections being physically accessible to us,  but we hope that this will be resolved by December 2021. 

Our Reading Room is now open by prior appointment only, subject to staff availability and the accessibility of the collection you wish to view

Special Collections Alumni Exhibition



Diorama view




How to find items

We understand the variety and locations of finding aids for Speical Collections is confusing, and work is ongoing to improve this.  Please email us for guidance. 

Collection descriptions for some Special Collections may be searched on our own Archives Catalogue,  Archives Hub or by reviewing one of our finding aids in the individual collectionsDetails of books belonging to Special Collections may be found by searching the Library Catalogue.

Contact us

To find out more information please email Archives and Special Collections. 

You might also wish to follow us on Twitter 


For external users from participating academic institutions, wifi access is available in the reading room via Eduroam. You will need to check with your home institution and register before your visit to Brunel.

Digital materials

It may be possible to supply digital versions of items in the collections. Go to our Request copies page for more information.

New to using archival or special collections material?

If you have never used archive collections before the Archives Hub has some guidance on finding and using archives, as well as getting the most out of a research visit.

We have a blog post on How to use Special Collections, aimed at the new user.