Teaching and outreach

Special Collections staff are happy to provide a tailored service to local community groups, external exhibitions and members of University staff. 

University teaching

The Special Collections team deliver classes using materials from all collections. Support is offered to academic colleagues when using original resources in their own teaching.

Classes are offered in bibliography, palaeography and book history. Codicology, manuscript studies and the history of photography are also taught. Students are equipped with manual handling skills and advice on how to get the best out of visits to other archives and special collections libraries. The team also support the exhibitions mounted by the students on the MLitt in Museum and Gallery Studies.

If you are convening a course and would like to find out more about using the collections, please email speccoll@st-andrews.ac.uk.

Terms and conditions for using special collections (Word) apply.

Visitor groups

Visitors to the University can see the treasures held within the collections. Bespoke tours can include a range of items to suit the interests of the group.

Local schools

Senior pupils are encouraged to visit the special collections to learn research skills and to use resources in their project work. Larger school groups are also welcome, and classroom sessions can be created on specific topics, such as:

  • the Scottish Wars of Independence
  • handwriting in the time of Mary, Queen of Scots
  • life in St Andrews during World War 2.

If you are a teacher or headteacher interested in how the Special Collections team can engage with your pupils please get in touch.

Community events

Opportunities for groups to engage with materials, through treasures tours or hands-on workshop sessions, can be provided. The team are happy to provide speakers and resources to local community groups.

Enquire about access to materials for a group event or activity.

Exhibition loans

The University of St Andrews Library regularly lends items for exhibitions both in the UK and worldwide; requests are welcome from museums, galleries and libraries.

Six months' notice is required for all requests and there are specific conditions which need to be met, please read the loan conditions for special collections material (Word)

Partnership with Photography Scotland

The University of St Andrews Library works in partnership with Photography Scotland to promote and support photographic events across Scotland.