Research Reserve


The Research Reserve in the basement of the Main Library brings together stock from previously disparate stores around campus, into one specially adapted space with a controlled environment. These low-use items form a valuable part of our research collections. Certain items, due to fragility or rarity, can only be consulted in the Allport Room study space in the Research Reserve. Microforms can only be consulted there.

Opening hours

Standard opening hours

The Allport Room is open:

Monday to Friday: 08:00-18:00
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00-18:00 (by arrangement only)

The Allport Room is closed on Bank Holidays and University closed days.


Research Reserve items have a 'request' link on FindIt@Bham. Complete the form and the item will be retrieved for you. Items will be fetched at regular intervals during the day, and are usually available within two working days (Monday to Friday). Please note that there is no fetching service on Bank Holidays or on University closed days.

Loanable items will be available for collection from the reservation shelves in the Library Information Centre on the ground floor. You will have one week to collect your item.

Thesis and reference only items must be collected from the Allport Room reception desk on the lower ground floor, during Allport Room opening hours. If you need to consult items outside these times, please contact us.

Allport Room facilities

Digital book scanner for scanning to USB and email.

Digital microform scanner for saving to USB and network drive, and sending to email and print. If making a special journey to campus to use the microform scanner, please ring ahead to check availability. We have non-digital microform readers at the OLRC and the Shakespeare Institute Library, which you can print from.

University of Birmingham staff also have access to a Multifunctional device for printing, photocopying and scanning to email.

Browsing access

Academic staff and research postgraduates may request to browse the stock in the Research Reserve. Taught students can be granted access at the request of a tutor. You will receive health and safety training on your first visit. In addition, we offer regular group tours which can be booked in advance via Research Reserve Tours. Browsing is only available for staff and students of this university.


Professional Services