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University Library


The Library has a substantial book collection of over 1.2 million printed volumes housed in its main building and Modern Records Centre next door. However, library services here extend further than just providing books to students, providing an inspirational environment for academic progression. People study and learn in different ways, and supplying the best facilities for the actual act of study is as important as recruiting the best minds to the University.

The main building

In the main library building, the first two floors are designed to facilitate informal and collaborative working, with over 200 computers and other multimedia facilities, such as plasma screens and interactive smart boards. However, if you are more of the quiet study type, don't worry! The other three floors are of the more traditional library sort, discrete and quiet, ideal for research, revision and writing.

Resources and archives

LibraryAs well as the million books stored in the library, there are also over 13 kilometres of archive in the Library and Modern Records Centre. The use of compact mobile shelving has created space for five years worth of new books and print media. These are electronically catalogued, making them very easy to locate. All students now have access to the growing quantity of electronic literature, meaning exceptionally easy access, no queues, no book return, and, most importantly, no library fines!

Our library has access to over 15,300 e-journals and just over 14,000 e-books, plus access to thousands of extracts of e-books. These can be accessed from anywhere on and off-campus, thanks to your personal university login. If you don't have a laptop there are many computer areas around the University and in the library where you can access these resources.

The library is efficient and fast. The Short Loan Collection (SLC) has a fast turnaround with overnight borrowing, enabling greater access to core texts. Borrowing and returning books is also extremely easy and made possible throughout the library's opening hours thanks to the user-friendly self-service machines on offer.

The Learning Grids


For an entirely different study environment however, you can head over to the Learning Grid in University House. It's a 24-hour, flexible, collaborative learning space – the first of its kind in the UK. A distinct alternative from the main library, it houses only core texts. Here, group work and discussion is openly encouraged. There are comfortable sofas, meeting and group work areas and computer portals. You can also work on projects on the range of film, editing and presentation equipment available free of charge in the Grid. You can also study in Learning Grid Rootes in the Rootes Building,


Refreshments are on-hand at both locations. Cafe Library takes care of your needs on central campus, located on the ground floor of the library, meaning your study breaks can be only as long as they absolutely need to be. Some of the eat-in or take-away food it offers includes all-day breakfast, hot meals, sandwiches, snacks and plenty of coffee. For the more news-conscious, there are also widescreen televisions all around Café Library, keeping you up to date with what’s going on and especially useful for breaking news.

The Modern Records Centre

There is a wide range of documents and archival material available to students in the Modern Records Centre, located adjacent to the library, which has also undergone a recent refurbishment. This is the UK’s leading repository for trade union, employers’ associations and political organisations archives. In addition to this, the BP archive is worthy of note, documenting the history and worldwide activities of BP, alongside the National Cycle Archive. Within the library, there are several collections worthy of a special mention, particularly the European Documentation Centre and the Ethnicity and Migration Collection.

This leads us to the Faculty of Arts.