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Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to our most frequently asked questions about visiting us.

Special Collections FAQs

Come and visit Special Collections on level 5 of The Mitchell Library. We’re part of the Family History Centre on level 5 and in the foyer we always showcase a display from our collections for you to enjoy.

Find Out What we Have

The library online catalogue is where you will find the book collections which have been added since 1976, and all items in the Glasgow Collection. You can also explore a selection of collection highlights from Special Collections. Many collections are not yet online, so staff can help you use printed catalogues and other sources to help with your research or enquiry.

Contact Us

Contact Special Collections with any enquiries or questions on 0141 287 2988, or email us on For collections or research enquiries that staff can’t answer in a few minutes, please email, or write to us at Special Collections/The Mitchell Library/Glasgow Life/North Street/Glasgow G3 7DN.


Special Collections is open during The Mitchell Library’s opening hours and you are welcome to visit without an appointment. We recommend that you let us know in advance when you would like to visit and what you want to consult as most items will need to be viewed in the search room which has different opening hours to the library.  We can set aside material for you, for up to five days. You will need to provide proof of identity to see items which are kept in secure storage, and view these under supervision in the search room. We need to see photo ID, proof of your name, home address, signature, and evidence of your membership of an educational institution, where applicable. For more information please see Special Collections Frequently Asked Questions

The search room is open 10am to 4pm Tuesday-Thursday. We ask that everyone takes great care when handling all items from Special Collections to avoid damage, so that these items can be preserved for future generations too. Staff will advise on any needs specific to particular items.

Conditions apply in the search room:

  • Outdoor coats and bags are to be placed in the lockers provided
  • You may not bring in any food or drink
  • No pens are allowed in the search room
  • Quiet study conditions apply, so mobile phones calls and group conversations are not permitted
  • Please use the conservation aids provided such as book stands or cradles