Your libraries

The Main Library holds material covering a wide range of subjects, with 400,000 items of high-use material on the first, second and third floors.

Our heritage research collections are in the Research Reserve, which comprises of over 50 kilometres of stock. Items from the Research Reserve can be requested via our catalogue (FindIt@Bham), and will be retrieved for you to consult. Certain items, due to fragility or rarity, can only be consulted in the Allport Room study space in the Research Reserve. Research postgraduates can request to browse the stock on the shelves in the Research Reserve. The Main Library’s Tony Skyrme Research Suite, exclusively for the use of research students and academic staff, is located on the first floor with views over the Green Heart.

The entrance to the glass fronted library building

Subject libraries

The University’s collections are located primarily in the Main Library, but other subject specific libraries across campus will be particularly beneficial to College of Arts and Law students.

The Barber Fine Art Library is a specialist research level collection covering most of the major European schools of painting from the early Renaissance to twenty-first century, the history of collecting, and also some Byzantine art.

The Cadbury Research Library is home to the University’s Special Collections, which includes extensive archives, manuscripts and rare book collections.

An academic and two students look closely at old manuscripts on raised cushions on a desk

The Orchard Learning Resource Centre can be found on the Selly Oak campus and holds over 100,000 items, encompassing religious studies, arts and humanities. It has over 400 study spaces and is also home to the Eton Myers teaching collection, on loan from Eton College.

The Shakespeare Institute Library is a major UK resource for the study of English Renaissance literature, situated in Stratford-upon-Avon. It has an international reputation and is used by Shakespeare academics and scholars from around the world, and is home to the Shakespeare Rare Book and Archive Collection.

A box folder on a shelf

The Library of Birmingham

The Library of Birmingham is a public library situated on the west side of the city centre at Centenary Square, beside the Birmingham Rep. 

The Library of Birmingham

The library has nationally and internationally significant collections, including the Boulton and Watt archives, the Bournville Village Trust Archive, the Charles Parker Archive, the Parker collection of children's books, the Wingate Bett transport ticket collection, the Railway and Canal Historical Society Library, and the photographic archives of the Warwickshire photographic survey. The Library is free to use and has a considerable amount of desk space available.