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Special Collections

University of Leicester

Transport History Collection

Road, canal, railway, tram, bus and motoring maps c.1780 - 1980. Coverage is particularly strong for Britain and its railways. Also includes items for Europe, North America and the former British Empire.

Most of the collection is on the 3rd floor, blue zone of the Library (Shelfmark: AA 100 – AZ 999). Older or rarer items are available to consult in the Special Collections Reading Room. 

English Local History Collection

Extensive holdings of primary and secondary materials relating to English Local History; many maps are included within these print collections. We have copies of most major 17th and 18th antiquarian and topographical works covering English towns and counties. We also have large number of 19th and 20th century trade directories, many containing street maps.

The main holdings are on the 3rd floor, yellow zone of the Library (Shelfmark: H941 - H942, 942 BED – 942 YOR). Older or rarer items are available to consult in the Special Collections Reading Room. 

Fairclough Topographical Collection

Topographical prints, including plans and views, from the collection of A. B. R. Fairclough. Prints depict country houses and estates, castles, churches and other buildings relating to 17th century Britain. Available to consult in the Special Collections Reading Room. 

Some items have been digitised:


University of Leicester Library, PO Box 248, University Road, Leicester, LE1 9QD

Main contact

Dr Simon Dixon, Special Collections Manager

Telephone number

'+44 (0)116 252 2056


Opening hours

The Library is open every day of the week, except Bank Holidays and University Closure Days. Full Opening Hours can be found here:


We welcome external readers and visitors. All external readers and visitors are required to register as a Library user and to abide by the Library regulations ( ). Please report to the Library reception on arrival.
If you wish to consult items in the Special Collections, please email in advance:


A self-service coin-operated photocopier is available in the Print Copy Scan room in the Basement. Staff operated copying is available for Special Collections material.


The holdings can be found on the main Library catalogue. Readers are advised to use the Advanced Search for the most accurate results.

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