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Black book cover with the title "SPECIAL COLLECTIONS" and the subtitle "WRIGHT & WRIGHT" both in gold lettering

The definitive guide to buildings for special collections. Intended as a typological and historical survey that goes beyond the minutiae of technical requirements to illuminate the many facets of a complex and highly specialised building type.  Illustrated by historical material, contributions from respected individuals and current case studies.

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Libraries of the future: a chapter by Helen Shenton

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Architecture of Display: a chapter by Naila Yousuf

Case Studies

Lambeth Palace Library

The Women's Library

Lobkowicz Study Center

Dvorak House Museum

Victoria & Albert Museum

St John's College, Oxford

Open book with images and text

Curation and Expansion: a chapter by Giles Mandelbrote

Open book with images and text

Origins of Special Collections: a chapter by William Whyte



Jeff James


Typology: Past, Present & Future

Anatomy of the Library (Catherine Slessor)

Origins of Special Collections (William Whyte)

Curation and Expansion (Giles Mandelbrote)

Public Engagement (Daryl Green)

Architecture of Display (Naila Yousuf)

Modern Media - Digitisation (Christy Henshaw)

Modern Media - South Archives (Sue M. Davies)

Democratising the Reading Room (Julia Eccleshare)

Libraries of the Future (Helen Shenton)

Technical Primer: Principles & Practice

Planning (Declan Kelly)

Protection Versus Access (Clare Wright)

Environmental Control (Tim Padfield)

Fire Prevention (Beryl Menzies)

Funding (Eilish McGuinness)

Building Management (Clare Wright)

Case Studies: Buildings for Special Collections

Beyond the Blind Box (Clare Wright)

Lambeth Palace, London

The Women's Library, London

Lobkowicz Library & Study Center and Dvorak House Museum & Music Academy, Czech Republic

Drawings Collection, Victoria & Albert Museum

St John's College Library and Study Centre, Oxford


Further Reading


Image Credits

To purchase more than one publication, or the whole set, please email for a discounted rate and reduced shipping fees.