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University Collection, Special Collections, Hartley Library: Home


For enquiries about University Collection contact:

Jenny Ruthven

email: or tel. 023 80593335


Special Collections, Hartley Library, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ

Special Collections Home Page

Printed Special Collections

A-Z List of Collections

Borrowing Books

Second copies of books are available for Long Loan.

If you have a University ID/Library card you can borrow books at the Loans Desk or at the self-issue units on level 2.

Related Collections

Printed Collections

Archive Collections

See the Archives Guide 

Collections include:

  • MS 1 Records of the University
  • MS 101- Records of individuals associated with the University

Related E-Book Collections


University Collection

The collection includes publications by and about the University and its predecessors, the Hartley Institution, Hartley University College and the University College of Southampton.

There are publications on the controversy surrounding the original Hartley Bequest, official publications such as calendars, annual reports, newsletters and exam papers, staff publications e.g. Viewpoint and some examples of early student publications e.g. Southampton University College Magazine 1914-1928.

The photographic collection includes photos of people associated with the institution and of the buildings of the original Hartley Institution and the site at Highfield.

Extent: Approximately 2,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals and ephemera. Approximately 600 photographs.

Location and Access

COVID-19 National Lockdown, January 2021 - Access

Special Collections Open Access Area - University of Southampton staff and students can continue to use the click and collect service, to book browsing slots and to book study spaces in the Special Collections open access area. See Library Services and COVID-19.

Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room - this service is closed. Members of staff are working off-site and can provide a limited enquiry service. Please email with any enquiries.


University Collection is part of Special Collections on level 4 of the Hartley Library. 

The books and journals are shelved in the Special Collections open access area and can be used whenever the Library is open.

Photographs are fetched for use in the Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room which is also on level 4. 

If you do not have a University I.D. Card, you will need to show photographic I.D. and a form of I.D. which includes your permanent residential address when you enter the Hartley Library and also when you arrive at the Search Room.


University Collection books are listed in the card catalogue next to the collection; post-1980 acquisitions and all journals are listed on WebCat and have the call number prefix Univ. Coll.  

The photographs are listed in the printed Local Illustrations Index, which is shelved next to the WebCats in Special Collections open access area.

Collection History

The University of Southampton has its origins in the Hartley Institution, founded in 1862 from the bequest of a local merchant, Henry Robinson Hartley. Originally accommodated in a building on Southampton's High Street, the Hartley University College (as it had become), moved to the current Highfield site in the years either side of the First World War.

In 1952 the University received its Royal Charter and became an independent University, having at that time around 1,000 students. Over the last sixty years this number has increased to over 24,000 students, there being more than 16,000 undergraduates over 7,000 postgraduate students. The University has expanded on to five campuses, which accommodate its eight Faculties.

Rag Bag (1929)

Moagazine cover

Univ. Coll. per LF 789.9


The nearest copier is behind the main staircase on level 4.

If you are not a member of the University, you will need to set up a guest account online, see Hartley Library: Visitors

Students'Representative Council (Men), 1904

Students Representative Council

Rare Books Univ. Coll. LF 785.6