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Course Collections: Course Collections Guide

The Course Collections contain stock in high demand such as course books, articles and lecture notes. Many items are now available online.


Three items from our physical stock may be borrowed from the course collections at any one time. 

Where available, course collection items can be borrowed using self-issue.

Items borrowed during the day are due for return by 11:00 the following day.

At Hartley, this applies every day except Saturday when items borrowed any time Saturday are due for return by 11:00 on Monday.

At all other sites, this applies every day except Friday and Saturday when items borrowed any time Friday and Saturday are due for return by 11:00 on Monday.

If an item has a reservation, you will be required to return the item before the reservation start time: you'll be informed of this when you borrow the item. Please check the return time on your receipt when using self-issue.

Can I renew course collection items?

Sorry, you cannot extend the loan of a course collection item.

You must return all course collection items to the library they belong to. Providing no-one has placed a reservation on the item, you may be able to borrow the item again.

Remember, you cannot renew these items via WebCat or by phone.


All course collection items must be returned to the library from where they were borrowed.

Where available, you can use self-return.

If you need to return course collection items when the Library is closed there is a returns facility outside the entrance to each library. Please do not return books here when the Library is open.

What if I return a course collection item late?

Course collection material is in high demand. The Library and your course colleagues require you to return all items on time.

If you do not return course collection items on time your Library record will be blocked for one week. This means you will be prevented from borrowing any material from any library. If the item remains overdue you'll be invoiced for the replacement costs.

What is a course collection?

Course collections contain stock in high demand, typically reading list material, and in a variety of formats, physical and digital.

Many items are available online, accessed via  (for online stock you must login with your User Name & Password). This means our online course collections are available to you anytime, anywhere; helping you study as and when you wish.

How do I find and use course collection stock?

Use :

  •  has separate Course Collection search options. This is the most efficient way of searching for course material. It enables you to search for items for a specific course or lecturer, using either the course code/name, or the lecturer's name
  • all course collection items can also be found using the standard WebCat catalogue search

To view all items for a specific unit / course you should:

  • login to WebCat with your  User Name & Password
  • Select Course Collections
  • Enter the course code, e.g. HIST1080
  • Select Search by Course Code

This will produce a list of all the items (physical and online stock) held for that course. 

Accessing stock available online

Stock available online will have [electronic resource] after the title.

Select the item you wish to access.

To view or download the document, you will need to:

  • Click on the link text 'Online link to document'
  • Click on the file that follows, ending .pdf to open and view the document in full

All documents are pdf files. How these are accessed varies according to your browser.

Accessing print stock

From your search results list, selecting an item which is part of our print collection within a library will display the copy details of that item including:

  • which Library / Course Collection
  • number of copies and their availability, e.g. available, on loan
  • loan type: Course Collection items are generally Short Loan or Reference

Can I access online stock off-campus?


you will need to login to the University network through the Southampton Virtual Environment (SVE) service. 

Alternatively, you can download and save these documents whilst on campus, for access off campus.


The Reservations facility is another self-service option in

This option enables you to reserve a course collection item for a specific time and date.

You can make up to three reservations at any one time.

You can also cancel a reservation from your list of reservations displayed in My Account.

If your reserved item is not borrowed within one hour of the reservation start time, it will be made available for other library users to borrow.

One of our course collections

Course Collection contacts

Hartley Library Health Services Library

Library & Learning Commons, Avenue

National Oceanographic Library

Winchester School of Art Library

Follow @UniSotonLibrary