The Library and Archives hold an extensive range of items which support teaching, learning and research.

Our Library collections are much more than just what you see on the bookshelves. We have a wide range of printed, electronic and audiovisual material, digitised collections, rare books and archival resources, all available for you to explore.

Featured collections

The Library and Archives hold an extensive range of items which support teaching, learning and research.

History of art

We hold significant collections centred on 18th- and 19th-century British copper and steel engravings, and the York Art Gallery Collection.


Our music collections include online audio recordings, audio-visual collections and collections of scores and books.


Our Yorkshire collection contains material relating to the social, economic, and cultural life of Yorkshire particularly from the 18th- to 20th-centuries.


Our medical collections form an important resource, providing information on disease in pre antibiotic times and on less medically advanced societies.

Stained glass

We hold an extensive collection of books and images on stained glass which support the teaching and research undertaken in stained glass studies, a University centre of excellence.


The Library and Archives collections include books from Friends Meeting Houses, plus papers from notable York Quakers and from the Society of Friends.

Theological libraries

Our theological collections date from the 16th- to 19th-centuries, and include two parish libraries.

Literature & poetry

Literature and poetry are well represented in our Rare Books collection, with examples ranging from the 17th- to 20th-centuries and from drama to detective fiction.

World History

The Library holds an extensive collection of material on World politics, economics and history.


We hold material on architecture, city planning, historic buildings, building conservation and other related subjects.

A staff member instructing a student while viewing archive material


The Borthwick Institute for Archives holds over 700 collections, many with regional, national and international significance. They hold ecclesiastical archives, business records, 20th-century comedy collections, health archives, natural history collections and much more.

Browse the Archive collections