Rare books collection

How to search and access the rare books collection in the Library.

You can also browse the collection.

Information about the collection

The University Library's rare books collection housed in a specialised cube on the 7th floor of the Library. It includes a wide variety of titles published between 1473 and 2002, with strengths in the 18th and early 20th centuries. Texts are in 18 languages, living and dead. Places of publication range from Amsterdam to Zwickau, covering 26 countries on 5 continents.

Highlights include:

  • The historic libraries of Hull Minster, St Mary's, Lowgate and Hull Grammar School
  • Examples of fine printing from private presses
  • First editions of intellectual milestones such as Robert Hooke's Micrographia (1665), Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary (1755), Einstein's seminal Annalen der Physik 1905 papers and Lady Chatterley's lover (1928)
  • First and early editions of the works of Anthony Trollope, Sir Walter Scott and Rudyard Kipling.

Apply to visit the collection

Visits to our rare books collection are available by appointment only. You must be able to provide a list of resources you wish to consult. 

The Hull History Centre

Further archives can be found at the Hull History Centre. The centre is home to thousands of archive collections, covering everything from Medieval land occupation to 20th century political campaigning.