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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


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. 


Special Collections Open Access Area - members of the University and visitors over 18 are welcome to use the material in this area whenever the Hartley Library is open. Visitors will need to show photo ID when signing in at Library Reception. If you are under 18 please contact with your enquiry. 

Our computer workstations are only available to University staff and students, but you can connect your own device to the free WiFi Guest service. 

Archives, Manuscripts and Rare Books Search Room - this is open Tuesday-Thursday 1000-1600. All visits are by prior appointment and all visitors will be required to book their visit and to order their material at least 1 working day in advance. 

Bookings are made by emailing providing details of name, University ID number (members of the University of Southampton only), permanent residential address and contact details, date of visit and list of items to be consulted.

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.

Visitors wishing to make photocopies of items can create a guest account and add credit online, then login to any of the photocopiers (multi-functional devices) in the library.

Students'Representative Council (Men), 1904

Students Representative Council

Rare Books Univ. Coll. LF 785.6