Information Today Europe provides this section as a service to its readers and customers.

All content presented within the press release section is that of the submitter. Information Today Europe does not necessarily endorse such content and bears no responsibility or liability for its accuracy.

Long-awaited new edition of the Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections now available

Facet Publishing have announced the release of the 3rd edition of the Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

London  ()

The Directory is the only publication to bring together rare book and special collections from all kinds of libraries across the UK and Ireland and is an essential research tool for researchers and librarians throughout the world.
Fully updated since the second edition was published in 1997, this comprehensive and up-to-date guide encompasses collections held in national libraries, academic libraries,  public libraries, subscription libraries, clergy libraries, libraries for other professions, school libraries, companies, London clubs, museums and archives, and libraries in stately homes. 

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford said, "The new edition is a long-awaited reference work which will help researchers identify the UK and Republic of Ireland’s great collections of research materials. It provides detailed and authoritative information and is a must for all serious researchers."

Edited by Karen Attar, Curator of Rare Books and University Art at Senate House Library,
The Directory:

  • contains a national, cross-sectoral overview of rare book and special collections 
  • offers full contact details, and descriptions of rare book and named special collections including quantities and particular subject and language strengths
  • provides a quick and easy summary of individual libraries’ holdings
  • directs researchers to the libraries most relevant for them
  • assists libraries to evaluate their special collections according to a ‘unique and distinctive’ model
  • enables libraries to make informed decisions about acquisition and collaboration
  • helps booksellers and donors to target offers.  

David Prosser, Executive Director of Research Libraries UK said, "Together, institutions in the UK and Ireland hold unrivalled special collections.  From our great National Libraries, through university collections to the smaller collections of specialist societies, cathedrals, historic homes, and museums we have a centuries-old tradition of collecting, preserving and giving access.  Scholars from around the world and across disciplinary differences rely on the treasures held by libraries listed in the Directory to pursue their research and help us make sense of the world in which we live."


Press and review copies contact:


James Williams, Marketing Manager, Facet Publishing

Tel: +44 (0)20 7255 0597



Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the UK and Republic of Ireland, 3rd edition | May 2016 | 752pp | Hardback | 9781783300167 | Price: £175.00 | CILIP members price: £140.00

About the editor:

Karen Attar is Curator of Rare Books and University Art at Senate House Library and a Research Fellow of the Institute of English Studies, both of the University of London. She has published widely on library history and aspects of special collections, is the reviews editor for Library & Information History, and in 2012 edited the treasures volume Senate House Library, University of London.

Karen has written a blogpost about some of the most interesting collections contained in the Directory.


The book is published by Facet Publishing and is available from Bookpoint Ltd | Tel: +44 (0)1235 827702 | Fax: +44 (0)1235 827703 | Email: | Web: | Mailing Address: Mail Order Dept, 39 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4TD. It is available in North America from the American Library Association.

Facet Publishing
Editorial Contact:
Sinead Murphy