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Special Collections

Welcome to Special Collections at the University of Lincoln banner

COVID-19 UPDATE: Special Collections are currently unavailable due to the restricted access in the University Library. Please see the Plan your Visit page for more information. 

While physical access is currently unavailable, you can request a digitsation of Special Collections material. Please note this may not be possible for all items due to their fragile nature.

Request Digitisation

Any queries please contact the Special Collections Librarian (SCL), who is currently available at Exchequer Gate at Lincoln Cathedral on Tuesdays and in the Zibby Garnett Library on University of Lincoln campus on Thursdays 8am-3.30pm, and working from home Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

To date the Cathedral Libraries remain closed to visitors but the SCL has limited access, so please email for further information.


View all Collections

Selection of children's literature books on a shelf including Lassie Comes Home and Monster Book for Boys, among others

Children's Literature Collection

Image: A selection of Children's Literature books in the Zibby Garnett Library

Illustration of towering pile of thick books with kindle on top with orange background

Darren Diss Collection

Image: Diss, D. (2011) I’ve given up books and I’m closer to my library than ever. The Independent, 1 Oct, 35. (Ref: DISS/234)

A selection of 4 postcards in plastic wallets

David Robinson's Lincolnshire Postcard Collection

Image: Selection of postcards from the collection

Title page of book

Early Printed Books Collection

Image: Walton, I. (1653) The compleat angler or the contemplative man's recreation. London: T. Maxey

Title page of The Village Doctor Or, Family Medical Adviser, 1831 with printed etching of a family

John Wilson Library Collection

Image: Scott, James. (1831) The village doctor; or, family medical adviser. London: Sherwood, Gilbert & Piper (Ref: WB.07.08)

Front cover of The Yellow Book: An Illustrated Quarterly, Volume VI July 1895, London: John Lane

Journals Collection

Image: Front cover of The Yellow Book: An Illustrated Quarterly, vol. VI, Jul 1895 (Ref: J/4/30)

Something Happens, Sometimes Here: Contemporary Lincolnshire Poetry book cover image

Lincolnshire Poetry Collection

Image: Waterman, R. (ed.) (2015) Something happens, sometimes here: contemporary Lincolnshire poetry. Nottingham: Five Leaves. (Ref: GARDINER/1/18)

Steampunk: The Art of Victorian Futurism book cover image

Steampunk Collection

Image: Strongman, J. (2011) Steampunk: the art of Victorian futurism. London: Korero. (Ref: D/3/20)

Illustration of man and woman in a rowing boat at night, the woman looking distressed while the man reaches down towards an engagement ring in the sea surrounded by sea life in various tones of blue and contrasting coral pink for some detail

University Art Collection

Image: Deep Blue by Ella Mcneilage (Ref: UL/AC/19/008)

Sepia photograph of Walter Canner

Walter Canner Collection

Image: Walter Canner (Ref: WALTER CANNER/1/1/2)


Welcome to Special Collections at the University of Lincoln Library. Special Collections includes a small collection of printed material in the Zibby Garnett Library on the first floor of the University Library and access to Lincoln Cathedral’s Library via a secondment of the Special Collections Librarian.

About the Catalogue

Photo Gallery on Special Collections Catalogue


Find out About the Catalogue

Plan a visit

  • Opening times
  • Useful maps
  • Digitisation Request Form

Zibby Garnett plaque outside Zibby Garnett Library in the University Library reading "This Library is named after Zibby Garnett (1944-1999) who inspired students to strive for excellence in the creation & presevation of the decorative arts and architecture. Widely admired & loved."


Find out how to Plan your Visit

Using the Collections

  • Handling rare books
  • Collections Care
  • Food and drink policy 

Shelves of books and journals in Zibby Garnet Library in University Library


Find out about Using the Collections


These are just some of the collaborations we have established for Lincoln's Special Collections! 

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral Library holds medieval manuscripts, early printed books, archival material and modern reference books.

Sketch of Medieval Library at Lincoln Cathedral and red book cover

Image: Left, 15th Century Medieval Library. Right, Yosy's Switzerland (1815) (Ref: WL.02.21 - 22)


The 17th Century Wren Library at Lincoln Cathedral and illuminated text in old book

Image: Left, 17th Century Wren Library. Right, Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons 12th century (Ref: MS 165)


About Lincoln Cathedral

Lincolnshire Archives

The collections date from 11th century onwards and cover the historical county of Lincolnshire, which stretched from the Humber to the Wash. 

Old Lincolnshire map - Lord Willoughby de Broke No.93

Image: Helpringham Enclosure Award and Plan (Ref: HELPRINGHAM PAR CO/5/1)


Old sepia photograph of Lord Alfred Tennyson

Image: Photograph of Lord Alfred Tennyson (Ref: TRC/Images/5371)


About Lincolnshire Archives

Lincoln Conservation

There is close collaboration between Special Collections and the staff and students within Conservation in the School of History and Heritage.

Image of microscopic examination of a paint sample

Image: 'Microscopic examination of a paint sample' taken from Lincoln Conservation website


Man in white laboratory coat looking through a microscope

Image: 'Materials Analysis' taken from Lincoln Conservation website


About Lincoln Conservation

Picture Credits

Special Collections logo designed by Toni Watts, with thanks. 

Special Collections logo

  Toni Watts' Website
  Toni Watts' Instagram

Find out more about Toni's work - A Medieval Scribe in the Modern Day: the Illuminations of Toni Watts

We need you!

There are always projects requiring help so please contact the Special Collections Librarian for the latest volunteering opportunities on offer. 

"We need you" infographic