Research Reserve

The Research Reserve forms a valuable part of our research collections. It holds theses and some older, less frequently used books and periodicals.

The rolling stacks in the Research Reserve, stretching off into the distance.

  • Research Reserve items are only available to consult upon request. See below for how to request.
  • Most books and serial monographs are loanable.
  • Journals and periodicals are reference use only and can only be used in the library.
  • Theses are reference use only within the Library. See the University of Birmingham eTheses repository for online access to PhD theses.
  • University of Birmingham students and academic staff can browse the Research Reserve collections.
  • The Research Reserve is on the lower ground floor of the Main Library, and is accessed via the lift or stairs beyond the Help Desk on the ground floor.
  • The Allport Room is the Research Reserve reading room, where you can view or collect reference-only items from the Research Reserve. 


  • University staff and students can request Research Reserve items, for a physical copy or digital scans, using FindIt@Bham.
  • If you are a visitor, please contact us via email to request Research Reserve items. We will send you confirmation when the items have been retrieved for you to consult.
  • If you are an external member with a library account, please request your Research Reserve items via FindIt@Bham. When signing in to FindIt@Bham, you should select the option for ‘External Borrowers’. If you have not already set up a password, please contact us via email.
  • More information on requesting Research Reserve items.

Allport Room

Opening hours

The Allport Room is closed on Bank Holidays and University closed days.


  • Book scanner for scanning to USB and email. 
  • Microform scanner for saving to USB and network drive, and sending to email and print.

Please contact us to check availability if you are making a special journey to the library to use the microform scanner.

Browsing access

  • This service is only available to University of Birmingham academic staff and students.
  • You must have a health and safety induction tour before receiving browsing access to the Research Reserve. The tour will introduce you to the collection, and allows you to browse the Research Reserve safely on subsequent visits. Tours take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. You must book at least 24 hours ahead. Book your tour online.
  • After your induction, you can browse the Research Reserve during Allport Room opening hours (see above). You must report to the Allport Room before entering the Research Reserve.
  • If none of the regular tour times are suitable for you, please contact us via email.


The door to the Allport Room.

Glass door to the Allport Room, just under the stairs. It's quite wide with a gold frame and gold decals across the glass.

The lift to the lower ground floor.

The lift the Research Reserve. It's a big gold stretched cube, and it stands to the right of the stairs down to the Research Reserve.