Special Collections seminar room booking

We encourage lecturers/course co-ordinators to use Special Collections material for teaching. The level 12 Henry Heaney seminar room may be booked for both undergraduate and postgraduate seminars when materials from our collections are being used.

Much of our material is valuable, rare or fragile, so its use in seminars has to be approved in advance by senior Special Collections staff. We need a minimum of one week to approve bookings and to ensure that the requested material is available in time.


Some guidelines:

  • please give us as much advance notice as possible: the room is heavily used and is often not available at short notice
  • use of books/manuscripts is subject to the approval of Special Collections staff: some items are restricted for preservation/conservation reasons - if using the original is not possible, we will try to advise on alternatives
  • you are responsible for ensuring that all the material is handled correctly (avoiding over handling) and books must be supported with cradles: if you are unsure about handling or would like a refresher on how our Clarkson cradles work, please ask a member of Special Collections staff for advice
  • please ensure that your hands are clean
  • pencils only to be used for note taking
  • absolutely no food or drink (including water and sweets) is allowed in the seminar room when material from our collections is being consulted
  • small group teaching (a maximum of 12) is advisable when using material from our collections 
  • Important: Please factor 30 minutes set up (and tidying up) time in to your room booking: seminars are often booked back to back and it can take time to bring in and set up cradles; note that the standard layout for the Henry Heaney room is for a seminar (i.e. a group of tables pushed together surrounded by chairs); you may move the furniture to suit your class requirements but it is your responsibility to return the room to the standard layout once you have finished

If you have not used Special Collections material before in teaching, please do not hesitate to discuss your requirements with Special Collections staff who will be happy to help. If given advance notice, we can also help to set up the room or talk briefly about book handling at the beginning of the seminar. Please let us know if you would like any other assistance.