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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.
Gale Primary Sources
The Gale Primary Sources cross-search interface provides access to millions of pages of content spanning many centuries and geographic regions
View database (University members only)
AM Explorer (Adam Matthew)
Award-winning collections of primary source materials spanning the social sciences and humanities from the 15th-21st centuries, developed in collaboration with leading libraries and archives.
Black Thought and Culture
A landmark collection of non-fiction writings by major American black leaders, teachers, artists, politicians, religious leaders, athletes, war veterans, entertainers, and other figures, covering 250 years of history.
British & Irish Women’s Letters & Diaries
This collection includes the immediate experiences of approximately 500 women, as revealed in over 100,000 pages of diaries and letters, and includes primary materials spanning more than 300 years.British and Irish Women's Letters and Diaries
Explore gender through a vast body of British source material from the fifteenth to early twentieth century. Through correspondence, advice literature, periodicals, ephemera and government documents, traditional models of gender and contemporary perceptions of these can be explored.
Disability in a Modern World: A Social Movement
One person in seven experiences disability. This collection includes primary and secondary source materials to tell the story of the disability community and its contributions.Disability in a Modern World: History of a Social Movement
LGBT Magazine Archive
Chronicles more than six decades of the history and culture of the LGBT community. Archival runs of 26 of the most influential, longest-running serial publications covering LGBT interests.LGBT Magazine Archive
Sex & Sexuality
This collection explores changing attitudes towards human sexuality, gender identities and sexual behaviours from the 19th to the 21st centuries.Sex & Sexuality
Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice
Primary and secondary source materials relating to the complex subjects of slavery, abolition and social justice, covering an extensive time period from 1490.Slavery, Abolition & Social Justice
Youth & Popular Culture
Showcases unique periodicals from 1940-present, highlighting topics and trends of youth culture such as fashion, rock and roll, sports, sexuality, dating, as well as youth portrayal in the media.Youth & Popular Culture
Unique and Distinctive Collections
Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives, located on A floor of the Library, hold over 15,000 rare books, thousands of postcards and photographs and archives related to Lancaster University and the wider region.Special collections & archives
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
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.
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.
Library and Learning Development trials Feedback Fortnight
For two weeks between 20th February and 5th March 2023 we ran a trial of gathering direct feedback from Library users following interactions relating to our services, facilities and resources. We wanted to learn as much as possible about your experiences and how these might be improved.
Students as partners Library celebration event
At the heart of the library’s vision ‘The Library Towards 2025’ is our ambition to be a library that is connected, that goes beyond providing just a service and a building and to work in partnership with all our Lancaster University communities, which includes providing students with opportunities to work with the library and have a central role in its development.
New 'Commons' Resources From the Library
The library has subscribed to two new 'Commons' resources. Africa and Policy Commons. These are a newer type of resource, that benefits both researchers and decolonisation efforts across the University by surfacing lost or difficult to find Primary Source resources, much of which is located in the Global South. This also means we have had a significant increase in the amount of interesting Policy Documents, Photographs, Zines, Films and Documentaries.