Special Collection

The Special Collection of Loughborough University Library consists of around 4000 printed books and around 1000 printed journal volumes, mostly from the period 1850­–1950. It was set up by Dr David Ernest Lewis (Senior Assistant Librarian, Cataloguing, 1964–2004.) Items in the Collection cannot be borrowed but they can be consulted in the University Library building. If you would like to do this please contact us to arrange an appointment.

The Collection includes materials relating to several different subjects:

  • Architecture, art and design.
  • History of town and country planning.
  • History of science and engineering.
  • History of sport.
  • 18th and early 19th century English literature.
  • Leicestershire history and topography.

The Collection has benefited from the generosity of several donors, including:

  • George E. Davis (of Davis Bros. Consulting Engineers, Manchester) and Norman Swindin (also of Davis Bros. and Visiting Reader in Chemical Engineering at Loughborough College of Technology): 19th and early 20th century books on chemistry, chemical engineering, mining, and related subjects.
  • The Institution of Electrical Engineers: early books on electricity, electrical engineering, and telegraphy.
  • Professor Eric Neville (first professor of mathematics at Reading University College): books on mathematics and mathematical physics.
  • Professor John F. Peck (professor of civil and mechanical engineering at Loughborough College of Technology): books on civil and mechanical engineering.

The selection criteria for the Collection include:

  • Age.
  • Value.
  • Scarcity.
  • Physical condition.
  • Quality of binding.
  • Other special attributes.

The Special Collection is no longer being added to.

Many of the items in the Special Collection are old books that have been digitised and are freely available on the Internet.