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Map by J. Speed England, Wales, Scotland, 1627

J. Speed, England, Wales, Scotland 1627

SCOLAR leads, co-ordinates, and advises on all aspects of the University Library's work with Special Collections and Archives.


General Information and Contacts

SCOLAR's main location is the Special Collections Research Room on the lower ground floor of the Arts and Social Studies Library.

The Arts and Social Studies Library is located on Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF10 3EU, at the junction of Corbett Road, Park Place and Colum Road.

Opening hours: 9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday.  

For further information contact:

Peter Keelan
Head of Special Collections and Archives   029 2087 5678

Alison Harvey
Assistant Archivist   029 2087 4911

Mark Barrett, Digitisation Officer

Lisa Webley, Library Assistant

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What can SCOLAR do for YOU?


  • Helps develop new special, historical, or archival research collections related to academic Schools' new and developing research fields, via donation, long term deposit, or occasional purchase of relevant sources.
  • Preserves long term the present and incoming donated archive collections which come from our distinguished current and former academic staff, for the future research use of their students and colleagues.
  • Gives access to thousands of historical books, journals, maps, and other published sources on all subjects, from medical history to arts, from social studies to science.
  • Gives access to thousands of unique archival source materials on all subjects.
  • Gives access to thousands of microfilm facsimiles of books, newspapers, etc.
  • Enables research students to handle documents from 100 to 600 years old, to broaden and enrich their studies and research.
  • Provides access to a growing range of in-house digitised materials.
  • Develops a good name for Cardiff University in the academic world as a trusted repository for the donation of relevant external collections that support our research programmes.
  • Advises on donations or purchases of historical, rare, specialist, or archival materials for the University Library's collections and promotes good practice in the storage, use and development of these resources. 
  • Enables academic staff to get a historical snapshot of their subject 50 years ago, journal articles from 100 years ago, newspaper stories from 200 years ago and books on their subject from 300 / 400 years ago.


  • Promotes SCOLAR collections internally to broaden and deepen the knowledge and awareness of new staff and postgraduates of the potential of the unique primary sources and rare materials in special collections and archives within Cardiff University Library.
  • Talks can be given to specific seminar groups in academic Schools on the relevant research resources SCOLAR holds in Schools' subject areas, specifically where the resources may assist with Masters programmes as a resource for research topics.
  • Provides information literacy seminars to postgraduates on the understanding and best utilisation of primary archival research resources, to better enable them to ground their research in the evidence base provided by SCOLAR and other primary archive collections.
  • Promotes SCOLAR collections externally to attract relevant scholars to Cardiff, thus again disseminating information about the research profile of the University.
  • Assists Schools and the University's Communications and International Relations (CAIRD) division to publicise research work related to the use of SCOLAR research collections.
  • Provides informative and up-to-date web pages about all of our SCOLAR-related library, archive and digital resources, which match or excel special collections web pages of other Russell Group universities.
  • Stages exhibitions of SCOLAR archives, rare books and special collections to coincide with University conferences, meetings and publicity events.
  • Prepares specialist listings of SCOLAR collections for University researchers.

External Funds

  • SCOLAR applies for external funds as appropriate to acquire, preserve, catalogue, store, digitise, make accessible and promote campus-wide SCOLAR resources for the benefit of internal and external scholars.
  • SCOLAR can co-operate with and assist academic Schools with external grant applications related to present or potential research resources that will support their work.


  • SCOLAR provides an enquiry service to all staff and students, to help save their time in searching for information available from SCOLAR and wider library and archive information sources.
  • Qualified library and archival staff are able to assist with readers' enquiries, in person, by phone, post, or email.
  • SCOLAR assists academic Schools with searches for out-of-copyright images in its collections for use in their teaching, research, or publications (at an approximate cost of £1.50 per digital scan provided).
  • Acts as a referral point in the University Library Service for enquiries with specialist historical or archival aspects, and draws on other INSRV expertise to provide positive responses to help readers access and utilize SCOLAR resources as fully as possible.
  • Supports the work of the Communications and International Relations (CAIRD) division and Development and Alumni Relations (DEVAR) division and others in the University with information support and copies of documents from SCOLAR collections.


  • Provides physical access to all SCOLAR collections in comfortable conditions, which very nearly match all national and international standards for the housing and use of special collections and archival resources.
  • Gives online catalogue access via LibrarySearch to all our library and digital resources, and archives via ArchiveSearch.
  • New state of the art microfilm digital scanners allows users to scan images for free from microfilm, to save as pdf documents. These can be taken away on a memory stick, saving both money and paper by eliminating the need for printing. A printing service is available if preferred (charges apply).
  • Provides research charts mapping the cross-disciplinary research potential of our library and archive collections.
  • Gives access to networked and wi-fi computer and printer facilities.
  • Provides a photocopying and digital scanning service, in the library's related Graphic Services section.
  • Provides 50 study places specifically for staff and research postgraduates in quiet study conditions in the ASSL Special Collections Research Room.
  • Can assist with provision of rooms and a location for joint SCOLAR/School events, such as book launches and academic seminars.
  • Provides an archives search room and bookable seminar room in the Special Collections area in ASSL.

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