Special Collections at the University of Birmingham is a division of Libraries and Learning Resources, part of Academic Services. The role of Academic Services is to support and inform the development of the academic mission of the University in teaching, research and knowledge transfer. 

The aims/remit are set out in policies approved by the University Council, currently one covering Special Collections as a whole and another for the University Archive.

Responsibility for the ongoing conservation, preservation and management of the University Archive and Special Collections is delegated by the University to the Director of Special Collections through the Registrar and Secretary. The Director exercises such responsibility on behalf of the University, acting also in the capacity of University Archivist. In these roles, the Director of Special Collections reports to the Registrar and Secretary, and is accountable to the University through the Information Services Policy Committee for the range of actions taken and services provided in support of the policies.

Special Collections Steering Group

Approved by University Council, Special Collections has a steering group which meets twice per annum, the terms of reference for the group are:

  1. To have oversight of the ongoing application and rolling review of the Special Collections Policy
  2. To provide a forum in which principal stakeholders and user representatives can provide guidance on the strategic issues and academic priorities which may influence the ongoing development and use of the Special Collections
  3. To oversee, advise on, and contribute to the development of plans to make the Special Collections available for use more widely in learning, teaching and research, and for public appreciation

The members of the group

  • A Chair as nominated by the University, currently the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Academic Quality and Students
  • Up to four academic members of staff with expertise or knowledge of research linked to Special Collections or archive collections
  • A stakeholder representative with an interest in the collections held by the University
  • An external professional adviser with a knowledge of access and research in relation to archive or rare book collections
  • The Director of Special Collections