University of Leicester Library

Contact details

Website: E-mail: David Wilson Library -; Special Collections - Tel: +44 (0)116 252 2043

photo of the David Wilson Library

One of four atriums with a light feature
design in the David Wilson Library.
Photograph: Martine Hamilton Knight.
Image copyright: University of Leicester.

About the library

Copac contains the full University of Leicester Library catalogue.

The University of Leicester Library is housed in the David Wilson building. The Library contains over a million items and includes 1500 user spaces of all types, 350 PCs, 14 Group study rooms and a Special Collections Suite constructed to BS5454 standard, as well as several specialist study rooms and wireless network throughout. The building won the 2008 RIBA East Midlands Award for Architecture. It was designed by Associated Architects, and was formally opened by Her Majesty the Queen in 2007.

In addition to Leicester's main library catalogue, the records in Copac also include the library's English Local History collection, its Special Collections, and the holdings of the Mathematical Association, which have been accommodated within the University of Leicester Library since the mid-1950s.

The English Local History collection contains materials relating to English local topography, and social and political history. The collection began with the Hatton collection (a special collection), which was donated in 1920-21 to coincide with the opening of the University (then the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland College). It was donated by Thomas Hatton, a local boot manufacturer, and includes his topographical library and major county histories.

The Special Collections include primary materials relating to Leicester authors, such as Sue Townsend and Joe Orton; extensive medieval manuscripts; and 19th-century periodicals. One of the highlights is the Robjohns Collection, which contains most of the University's medieval manuscripts and the Library's oldest book, a 12th-century commentary on the Psalms by Gilbert de la Porée (Gilbertus Porretanus), Bishop of Tours (d. 1154).

The Mathematical Association Library comprises nearly 11000 text books, popular mathematics and higher mathematics books, and around 700 runs of mathematical periodicals from many different countries. The library also includes an exceptional collection of 300 largely mathematical manuscript exercise books from the 18th and 19th centuries: the John Hersee Collection. To find out more about the Mathematical Association Library, and the different borrowing arrangements relating to some of its collections, visit their library information page.

The local library catalogue is available online.

Accessing materials

Can I obtain items via interlibrary loan? Yes. You must request an inter-library loan via a library of which you are a member. Talk to your own library staff about whether they think the document you need is likely to be available for loan and for advice on making an inter-library loan request. Leicester's Special Collections are reference only and are not available for interlibrary loan. You can find out more about Leicester's interlibrary loan policy on the website.

Can I visit the library to view materials? Yes - visit the library's web site for access details. If you wish to visit, it is advisable to contact the library in advance to ensure the material you need will be available.

How do I find primary source material held at this institution? Visit the University of Leicester's contributor page at the Archives Hub for information.


University of Leicester data on Copac

Example record from the University of Leicester:

Plinij Secundi Epistola ad Cornelium priscum ... M. Valerij Martialis Epigrāmatō Liber primus. / Martial.
  [Parma] : [Damianus de Moyllis] [ca. 1481]

You can browse all the titles on Copac starting with the above title.