Student reading a book next to a bookshelf.

Focusing our attention on digital resources, archives and research collections, continuing to move away from a dependency on print. Moving from curating content to creating dynamic collections.

We have extensive print and digital collections, including specialist databases, special collections and archives and digital collections.

The library holds wide ranging and diverse collections, with hundreds of thousands of print and online books, and over 400 specialist databases, providing access to primary source materials, academic journals and expert subject resources. Unique archives, collections and rare books are available to access from our Special Collections and Archives, as well as through Lancaster Digital Collections.

Databases and primary source material

The library has an extensive collection of resource databases and primary source materials. Browse a selection of the resources we hold below and explore the full range in the A-Z of databases.

Unique and Distinctive Collections

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives, located in the Archives Research Centre, hold over 15,000 rare books, thousands of postcards and photographs and archives related to Lancaster University and the wider region. 

Special Collections and Archives
Extract of a letter from James Satterthwaite to his mother.

Lancaster Digital Collections

Lancaster Digital Collections shares and preserves unique and distinctive visual and multimedia collections created by Lancaster University and its partners. Our ambition is to provide diverse digital collections through partnership, and to make them openly available for all to explore, use and benefit from.

Lancaster Digital Collections
Painting showing street scene in front of Arcadia cinema
Leisure reading area with comfortable reading chairs with shelves of fiction books.

Leisure reading

Our leisure reading area, located on A floor of the library, holds a range of fiction and non-fiction print books that anyone can loan, with seating to take a break, read and relax.

To complement the print collection, University members have access to the Overdrive digital service, providing eBook and AudioBook collections including wellbeing and self-help titles, comics and graphic novels, International Booker Prize winners, science fiction and fantasy.

Browse titles online or download the Libby app and sign in using University username and password.

All students and staff are encouraged to recommend titles to be added to both collections. eBooks and AudioBooks can be recommended to the library within Overdrive, and print titles can be recommended via the Request a Resource form.