Orchard Learning Resource Centre


Orchard Learning Resource Centre

Orchard Learning Resource Centre
University of Birmingham
Hamilton Drive
Weoley Park Rd
Selly Oak
B29 6QW 

Tel: 0121 415 8454
Fax: 0121 415 8476 

Email: olrc@bham.ac.uk

See our opening hours.

About the library

The Orchard Learning Resource Centre is situated on our Selly Oak Campus, approximately one mile from the main campus in Edgbaston along the Bristol Road. 


Study spaces

OLRC has over 250 study spaces spread across three halls, and seven individual study carrels. There is a group study room on the ground floor which can accommodate 8-12 people. 


There are computer clusters in each of the three halls on the first floor of the main building. You will need your ADF username and password to use these computers. 

Green Room

An innovative, multi-mode learning suite situated on the ground floor of the library. One side of the suite takes the form of a quiet reading and study area, with comfortable seating for more than thirty in various configurations. The other side is a technology-rich area containing twelve PCs, screened areas for group work, a plasma screen, and an interactive Smart board, at which students can work individually or in groups. 

Wireless network 

Wireless access is available throughout the library. 

Photocopying and printing

  • Multifunctional printer/photocopier on the ground and first floors
  • Scanner on the ground floor

All printers and copiers operate via the charged printing system. There is an autoloader in the foyer where you can add credit to your printing account.

Find out about photocopying and printing.

Laminating and binding  

Self-service equipment is provided for binding and laminating. Please purchase binding covers, spines and laminates from the Service Point on the ground floor.


Items of stationery including notebooks, pens and memory sticks can be purchased from the Service Point on the ground floor.

Teaching Wing

The teaching wing offers modern purpose-built teaching accommodation including two seminar rooms located within the library, and a PC cluster (room G.05 on the ground floor). When facilities are not in use for teaching, University members have drop-in access to the PCs. All rooms are centrally bookable for teaching. Please check the Learning Spaces website for details.


OLRC holds over 100,000 items, encompassing religious studies, social sciences and humanities. 

The following collections have been transferred to the Main Library:

Baykov Collection

A research collection of some 100,000 predominantly Russian-language monographs, periodicals, online resources and microfilm archives. 

European Documentation Collection (EDC)

 A collection of some 10000 items published by the European Commission, covering all aspects of the European Union's policies and governance. 

German Documentation Collection (GDC)

A collection of some 3000 predominantly German- language monographs and periodicals, covering post 1945 German politics, and foreign and economic policy.

Arabic Collection 

Covers major subjects such as: Qur'an, Tafsir, Sunnah, Hadith, Fiqh, Arabic language and literature, Islamic history, Sufism and comparative studies.

Oriental Collection

This collection in Chinese, Japanese and Korean, covers religion in Asia, including Christian theology and mission.

Availability of materials

Pressure on space dictates that some material is housed in closed access stacks. Material from the stacks has to be collected by library staff, and may not be immediately available. Visitors are advised to contact the library in advance to check on the availability of material.

The Mingana collection of Syriac and Arabic manuscripts, plus the Harold Turner collection of documents on the subject of African Initiated Churches, previously housed in the OLRC, are now located in the Cadbury Research Library

Posters and maps from the Baykov Collection are also now located in the Cadbury Research Library. OLRC is also home to part of the Eton Myers Collection.

Disability support

All libraries and resource centres offer the following services:

  • Book fetching 
  • Extended loans 
  • Help with catalogue 
  • Stock transfer 

N.B. These services are available in the Orchard Learning Resources Centre (OLRC) at all times when the Centre is open.

Facilities and access

  • Accessible toilets 
  • Parking for people with disabilities 
  • Quiet/Silent Study area 
  • Wheelchair Access

Specialist equipment

This site has the following equipment available:

  • Assistive Technology Booth 
  • Audio text reader (Tieman CleaReader)
  • Bar Magnifier 
  • Cassette player 
  • Coloured Overlays 
  • DAISY format software (Dolphin Easy Converter)
  • Dedicated printer
  • Dedicated scanner
  • Hand-held portable video magnifier (Ruby & Videospec Pocket Reader) 
  • Height adjustable tables 
  • Literacy software (TextHELP Read & Write) 
  • Magnifying glass 
  • Magnifying sheet 
  • Mind-mapping / Idea-mapping software (Inspiration & MindManager) 
  • Scanning and reading software (OpenBook and Pearl)
  • Screen Magnification Software (ZoomText) 
  • Screen-reader software (Jaws) 
  • Speaking text-scanning software (Kurzweil 1000) 
  • Table top craft lamp with magnifying light
  • Voice-recognition software (Dragon Naturally Speaking) 

Additional information

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If you have a technical question you can contact our IT colleagues as they are much better at that stuff than we are!