University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Research and enquiries




If you’re interested in the work of the Special Collections Division you might like to learn more and to share in it through our work-experience or volunteering programme. This may be because you're interested in becoming an archivist or librarian and want the chance to see the profession from the inside. You might have skills that would enable you to help us to work on material in a particularly difficult language or format. Or you might simply have time to spare, an interest in one of our specialist areas and want to do something useful.

We offer three types of volunteering opportunity with our collections.

  • A structured programme is offered to a small number of students each semester who will work for one half-day per week under supervision on specific projects. This gives valuable experience to support an application for post-graduate training courses or vocational work alongside those already studying by distance-learning.

  • Those with experience in the archives or rare book sectors may be accepted as interns to work with our wonderful collections.  These placements are often set up in conjunction with projects elsewhere in the University such as the USTC project or courses such as the MLitt in Book History. Sometimes arrangements are made directly with individuals.

  • Occasional, sometimes short-term but regular volunteering by, for example, the newly graduated or newly retired.

There are many archivists and librarians now working in the sector whose first hands-on experience of historic collections was gained in St Andrews. We are delighted to be able to share our enthusiasm with others.

Special Collections for Groups

Learn about how we share our treasured collections with specialist groups and schools and how we use materials for teaching within the University.

Research enquiry?

If you need assistance with research, have a query about our collections, or would like to know about researching your family history please ask for our help.

Do you need reproductions?

Find out how you can get copies of books, manuscripts or photographs held within Special Collections.