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Special Collections

The Special Collections of the University of Central Lancashire Library contain a large number of books, documents, and historical resources of both national and international importance.

Our Special Collections

New for 2021: the Virtual Archive tour for the Heritage Open Weekend.

Our other collections

Health Informatics National Collection

The National Health Informatics Collection (NHIC) is a unique resource that supports research and learning across the disciplines of health, technology and computing. Originally established by the National Health Service Information Authority (NHSIA), the collection’s focus is to document the origin and development of health informatics across the UK. Health informatics as a discipline uses information and technology to provide high-quality care for patients. The NHIC focuses on the historical development of health informatics, providing information through documents, conference papers, books, articles and visual and audio media.

The Exeter Community Health Services Computer Project

The Exeter Project forms part of the holdings of the NHIC and was set up in the early 1970s by the UK Department of Health and Social Security. Its remit was to explore the use of computers in the administration of patient care by attempting to combine all information about a patient’s health into a single record. Documents from the Exeter Project which have been digitised are available through the University Repository.

The Sport England National Collection

Sport England National Collection contains books, journal articles, government publications, conference papers and other pamphlets and reports relating to the strategic development of sport in the UK. The collection comprises information on various sporting disciplines as well as crossover areas such as sports facilities, planning, management and psychology.

This small collection of items relates to the Shepherd Street Mission established in Preston by the Band of Hope in 1876. The mission worked with homeless children and adults in the local area, with one of its original aims being to assist children to emigrate. This collection comprises mostly committee minutes and newspaper reports on the Mission’s work but does include rules for running the children’s homes and a very small collection of images. Currently, this collection isn’t available via Library Search, however, there is a key to the collection contained within the archives.

The Joseph Livesey Collection represents one of the most comprehensive archives of Temperance material in the world. As such it is the source for scholarly papers and popular media productions on the topic and materials have featured in several television and radio productions.

The Design Collection is a unique and valuable collection of books, magazines and periodicals perfect for research inspiration. It covers many areas of art and design including fashion and textiles, typography, graphic design, product catalogues and photography.

The Illustrated books collection contains items from the 18th Century up to present day, all chosen for the quality of their illustrations. The items represent a wide variety of techniques and stypes from woodcut prints, lithography and photography. Notable illustrators include George Cruikshank, Arthur Rackham, Gustave Dore and Salvador Dali and more contemporary artists including Quentin Blake and Judith Kerr.

The overall aim of the Special Collections is to offer access to materials of intrinsic value to research and learning and teaching at the University of Central Lancashire, where the general collection management and access policies would compromise either the materials or access to them.

The Special Collections focus on four main areas:

  • The University of Central Lancashire institutional archive and materials relating to the Universities founding institutions.
  • The Temperance Collection, the core of which is formed by the Livesey Collection, the archive of the British National Temperance League.
  • Illustration, art and design, materials that support the visual arts courses especially in relation to textiles and other traditional local industries.
  • The Local Collection, materials relating to the history and culture of Lancashire, focussing on the locale of Preston.

These themes form the basis of any collection development and donations will be accepted on the premise that they strengthen the collections' focus in these areas.