Special Collections

Uppsala University Library has large and valuable special collections that have been accumulated over 400 years. The Library continues to collect and preserve these materials and renders them available for research and study.

Content of the Special Collections

Special collections could comprise

  • a collection connected by a common characteristic such as previous owner, subject, or origin
  • older printed collections (printed up to 1850)
  • collections in specific formats, such as manuscripts, archives, music, pictures, maps and photographs.
  • collections considered particularly important to preserve.

For more information, some of our special collections are described in the Alvin database.

Explore the Special Collections

Everyone is welcome to study our special collections. There are three main ways to find them:

  1. Search directly in our catalogues and search tools.
  2. Find the right catalogue via the ‘Find by Material Type’ pages.
  3. Contact’ Ask the Library’.

The Special Collections can be studied on site and to some extent also digitally.

Study the Special Collections on site

The materials can be fragile and delicate and require special storage and handling. This is why they can only be studied in the Special Collections Reading Room, under the supervision of Library staff. There are also exhibitions of material from the special collections at Carolina Rediviva.

Request items from the Special Collections

Study the Special Collections digitally

Some of the collections are digitised and can be viewed in the Alvin database. If an item cannot be found in Alvin, you can order a digital version yourself.

Digitised Special Collections in Alvin

Digital resources for cultural heritage collections

Request a digital copy

How we work with the Collections

The Library is working to increase the searchability and accessibility of the collections, by organising, cataloguing, digitising and taking a number of preservation measures. This work is carried out continuously as well as through projects.

Some of our projects

Digitisation at Uppsala University Library

A few of our collections

In addition to the regular special collections, the Library has a number of collections that are grouped by shared origin or other shared factors. Read more about several of these:


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