Accessibility statement

An introduction to the Library

Contact us

In person at the Library and IT Help Desk


Phone (01904 32) 3838

Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

"A very warm welcome to the University of York from the Library. This guide contains useful information about the resources and services that we provide to all members of the University.

The Library buildings offer bright, open spaces with a wide range of facilities and study areas, designed to suit all learning styles. We offer collections developed to reflect the research and teaching of academic departments, a vast array of electronic resources, and support from expert staff.

We hope that being part of the Library inspires you, empowers you and supports you in achieving your goals and objectives. Our staff are here to help, whether that’s in person at the Help Desk or via chat, email, phone, Twitter or Facebook. Outside our full service hours, we offer an out of hours chat service to help with your queries.

We value your feedback, so please do not hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to improve the service we offer you."

Library, Archives and Learning Services Leadership Team  
Interim Director of Library and Archives


Please note: Some of the links below will take you to other areas of our website for more information on our services.

To return to this guide visit

Search our resources

Can't find what you're looking for?

Contact us - we might be able to help you find what you need.

If we don’t have the item in our collections you can:


YorSearch is the Library search tool which helps you find the resources you need, including:

  • books and ebooks
  • journals and e-journals
  • music scores
  • items from the Archives and Rare Books
  • exam papers, theses and dissertations
  • databases
  • audiovisual items.

Through YorSearch you can:

  • check the availability and location of items in the Library
  • request a postal loan or ask for a chapter to be emailed to you
  • access electronic resources
  • request items which are on loan
  • search the collections of the Minster Library and the National Railway Museum.

Your Library Account

Log in to YorSearch to access your Library Account. You can then:

  • view the items you have borrowed and their return dates
  • renew items
  • keep track of any requests you make
  • submit and track interlending requests.

Subject Guides

"I liked using my Subject Guide - it was department specific and concise, and gave a wide variety of information and links."

Our Subject Guides bring together many of the most useful online resources for your department, as well as information and guidance to help you work. More help is available from your Academic Liaison Librarian, including one-to-one appointments to support you in finding and managing information resources.

E-resources Guide

A student reading in the Library.

You can access e-resources on and off campus, including ebooks, ejournals and databases that the Library subscribes to, through YorSearch or at

Don’t forget your University username (eg abc500) and password; you’ll need these to access most of our e-resources.

Reading lists

Find reading lists for your course on the VLE. They contain recommended books, journal articles and other materials.


Flexible loans

A student taking a book from a shelf.

All borrowable items have flexible loan periods. Flexible loans are designed to give everyone fair access to the resources they need.

As a Library user, you’re part of a community which shares the University Library’s resources - our loans service allows us to ensure that everyone gets a chance to use items in high demand. You may be asked to return an item if another user has requested it. In the spirit of our friendly student and staff community, please ensure to return items promptly. We often buy multiple copies of books to limit this.

Laptop loans

There are laptops available to loan in the main Library, the Piazza Building study space and at the King's Manor Library. They are set up for wifi and printing and will provide access to your personal filestore and Microsoft Office.

Book Takeaway Service

"The book delivery service to King’s Manor has saved me time, money, and from back pain. Thank you @UoYLibrary."

Our Book Takeaway Service allows you to request access to printed books (or other items like DVDs) from the Library’s collections which aren’t available online. You can choose to:

  • receive a scanned PDF of a book chapter or journal article
  • have an item delivered by post
  • have an item sent to the Morrell or King’s Manor for collection.

Returning items

A student returning a book

Flexible loan items can be returned at the University Library or King’s Manor Library.

If you’re on Campus East, you can return items at our book drop in the Ron Cooke Hub; it’s available 24/7. Books are collected once a day and removed from your account when they arrive at the Library.

You can also post items back to us if you’re away from campus.

Here to help

Contact us

A student getting support at the Help Desk.

There are a number of ways you can get in touch with us for help, advice or information:

Online help and support

"The @UoYLibrary Twitter account is super useful for updates and they’re great at dealing with any problems you might have!"

Use LibAnswers, our online support system, to check FAQs or ask us a question.

Subject support

Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for specialist subject help, including one-to-one appointments. You can find contact details for your Academic Liaison Librarian in our Subject Guides.

Research support

Additional specialist support for staff and postgraduate research students is provided by the Library's Open Research team. Contact the team for help with open access publication, research data management, bibliometric indicators and copyright:

  • Open Research

Chat Service

Our Library chat service is available to give you library related help and information. 

During our full service hours you can use our chat service to contact our Library staff with queries about the Library, and our services and facilities. During self service hours, our out of hours chat service is staffed by librarians from organisations across the world. If they can't answer your query, they'll pass it back to our Library staff who will contact you the next working day.

Services for users with disabilities

We are committed to ensuring that all students and staff can make the best use of our services. If you have a disability which affects your use of the Library, please speak to us - where possible, we’ll provide a bespoke service. We can offer 1-to-1 meetings with library staff, either on site or online.

Spotted a problem in the Library? Text us

If you're unhappy with the behaviour of other Library users, or have noticed any building related issues, send us a text with the location and the nature of the problem to 07919 293133.

We won't reply to your text, but we'll deal with the problem as soon as possible.

See also: Behaviour in the Library

Study spaces

Students in one of the Library's study spaces.

We have many types of study space, in both the main University Library on Campus West and the King's Manor Library in the centre of York. You'll need to book your study space in advance:

Where to study

Quiet zones

Need a break?

The Library Cafe can be found on the ground floor of the Morrell.

Quiet zones can be found on the south (University Road) side of floors one and two and all of the third floor in the Morrell.

Noise is kept to a minimum in these zones.

Studious buzz zones

Studious buzz zones can be found in the Morrell Lounge, the group study rooms, and all of the Fairhurst.


To find out more about the different Library zones, visit: 

Library regulations

Please also take the time to read the Library regulations; these are in place to ensure all our users get the best out of our facilities:

Our buildings and collections

Our buildings

You can see the location of subject resources, study areas, PCs and other facilities in the main Library:

JB Morrell Library

The Morrell houses our core collections which support your study and research in all subject areas; more specialist resources can be found in a number of different places:

  • Borthwick Institute for Archives
  • Rare Books collection
  • Raymond Burton Library
  • King's Manor Library
  • York Minster Library
  • John Barry Audiovisual Collection
  • John Paynter Music Library
  • York Digital Library

Borthwick Institute for Archives

A student in the Borthwick.

The Borthwick Institute for Archives, in the main University Library, is dedicated to collecting and preserving archives, and making them widely available.

It holds archives dating from the 11th century to the present day, many with regional, national or international significance. It also houses our microform collections. You can find items in the Borthwick collections using their online catalogue, or via YorSearch.

Rare Books

The Library’s Rare Books collection can be accessed at the Borthwick. The collection is strong in local history, including printing, medical history, and 18th century book illustration.

Raymond Burton Library

A student working in the Raymond Burton Library.

The Burton, in the University Library, is home to the Elton Collection of history books and the Humanities Research reference collection.

King's Manor Library

Our library on the City Centre campus focuses on archaeology, architecture, and design.

York Minster Library

All staff and students can use the Minster Library. Collections relate to local and medieval history, and church architecture and history.

John Barry audio visual collection

A student working in the Music Library.

This can be found on the ground floor of Fairhurst. This holds Blu-rays, DVDs, and CDs, and provides viewing facilities.

John Paynter Music Library

On the ground floor of Fairhurst, this houses music books and scores, keyboards, and PCs (with specialist music software installed).

York Digital Library

York Digital Library provides online access to resources including images and audio. Digitised past exam papers, dissertations and theses are available to view via YorSearch.

Skills support

You can develop your academic skills with a range of support services:

Academic Liaison Librarians

"Never be afraid to ask a librarian, they are friendly, helpful and also know a lot about the library (odd that)."

Each department has its own dedicated Academic Liaison Librarian. They can help you to find, manage and evaluate information resources, and can also talk to you about relevant IT tools including support for managing your references.

To find out who your Academic Liaison Librarian is, see our Subject Guides.

If you’re a member of academic staff, you can contact us to help embed core skills at an appropriate point in the curriculum. This can be via formal lectures, seminars or practical workshops to suit the needs of you and your students. Delivery and content is tailored to help students and staff find information for anything from short essays to in-depth research.

Learning Enhancement Team

A workshop delivered by the Maths Skills Centre.

This team is based in the Fairhurst Building, providing help and support with core academic integrity skills. They offer specialist maths and writing support, including one-to-one appointments:

Teaching and Learning Team

The Teaching and Learning team has expertise in digital literacy, including ICT literacy, information and research skills, data and media literacy. The team can help you with:

  • the use of Google Workplace for Education, for teaching, research and administrative purposes
  • development of student and graduate digital capabilities and information literacy
  • support with the use of a range of web and desktop applications
  • embedding digital capabilities across academic programmes.

The team provides support to staff and students in the development of digital capabilities, through generic and discipline-specific training sessions, as well as one-to-one support. We also offer one-to-one consultancy on the use of digital tools to enhance teaching, research and administrative practices.

Brush up your skills

Skills GuidesOur online Skills Guides provide videos, slides and interactive tutorials to help you develop your information skills, learn to code, work with data and get creative with digital technologies. We’ll also show you how to follow good academic practice and develop your digital skills for effective reading, note-making, essay writing and problem solving.

Digital skills training: We offer workshops every week throughout term-time to help you enhance your academic and digital skills. Our digital skills training programme includes termly sessions on topics including reference management, critical skills, and designing presentations. Look out too for our weekly Digital Wednesdays where we get digitally creative with themes such as learning to code, digital storytelling and digital creativity.