The University Library Part 1 - Our buildings, collections and people

Some of the items in this post refer to our buildings and physical resources. While physical access is suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we look forward to welcoming staff and students back when it is safe to do so. Please check our website and social media for updates.

Our Buildings

The University Library exists over two separate sites and includes the Brynmor Jones Library (BJL) and Hull History Centre (HHC).

Located at the heart of the University of Hull campus, the BJL houses the University’s library and rare book collections. HHC is located on Worship Street in the city centre, and is a partnership between the University of Hull and Hull City Council. It houses the archival holdings of the University of Hull, Hull City Archives, and Hull Local Studies Library.

HHC Exterior UOH_2597 copy
Hull History Centre (HHC)

Both the BJL and HHC offer a range of spaces for all staff and students, including quiet working areas, meeting rooms, lecture and seminar spaces, and exhibition halls. Tours can be requested, allowing staff to familiarise themselves with both the BJL and HHC spaces, and to understand the facilities provided at both sites.

Although physical access to both buildings is currently suspended, we look forward to welcoming staff and students back when it is safe to do so.

Our Collections

The University Library provides access to millions of items across the physical and digital collections of the Brynmor Jones Library and Hull History Centre. Our collections support and are aligned to the teaching, learning and research activities of the University.

Archive collections cover a vast range of subjects and span centuries of history dating back to the 12th century. Particular collection strengths include literature and drama, politics and protest, landed families and estates, local history, landscape and buildings, crime and punishment, seafaring, local authority, higher education, trade unionism, leisure and voluntary societies. Archive Collections at Hull History Centre allows you to explore HHC collections coverage in further detail.

Our rare books collections comprise 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.

For the benefit of both our rare books and our readers, these collections are available by appointment only, but they are definitely there to be used.

Our People

The Skills Team support students with their learning development, writing, research, digital literacy and information literacy. This is provided through online and on-campus appointments and workshops. They also have extensive online self-help which can be easily embedded into Canvas. You can contact them at:

The Collections Administration and Collections Development Teams work together to provide access to the physical and digital resources needed to support teaching, learning and research. They offer support and guidance on the use of ReadingLists@Hull, and the licensing of eBooks and other digital formats. Contact them at

The University Archives Team support students with archival skills development, are there to provide staff and students with advice about HHC’s archival holdings, and can advise on curriculum development to incorporate archives into learning and teaching practices. Contact them at

The Customer Experience and Insight Team support front line services within the library. Their focus is to build customer engagement and to exceed Customer Service Excellence Award standards. The team offers guidance through livechat, email, website, phone and in person alongside triaging queries to relevant university support. Contact the team through Library Chat or via

You can find further information about the services provided by the University Library in the second part of our blog ‘The University Library Part 2: Services, teaching and research support’.

BJL Library

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