Special Collections

A wonderful resource of images, stories and ideas for students, staff and members of the public.

Discover over 150 collections of rare books and archives: manuscripts, letters, photographs, artworks, newspapers, maps, pamphlets, objects, digital files, and even J.B. Priestley's pipes.


Putting Flesh on the Bones Project

Wellcome-funded project to catalogue and digitise the archive of Dr Calvin Wells, who pioneered the study of ancient disease and injury through bones.

J. B. Priestley

Discover the archive of Bradford's great writer, creator of An Inspector Calls and hundreds of other plays, books, and articles. 

Peace, Politics and Social Change

Archives, pamphlets, ephemera and books document the people, campaigns and ideas of peaceful protest in the 20th century.

Jacquetta Hawkes

Archaeologist and author, best known for A Land which fused geology and poetry.

History of the University of Bradford

Our collections tell the story of the University from its origins in the Bradford Technical College.  The focus has always been on making knowledge work.

View of the Wool Exchange, Bradford, circa 1890. From An Album of Bradford Views, Special Collections, reference Local/ALB

Bradford and the Yorkshire Dales

From writers to entrepeneurs, the wool trade to lead mining, our collections tell the stories of local people, culture and industry.

Sketch plan of MIss Lund's allotment, Ewe Moor, near Malham, by John Greenwood, 1850. From Raistrick Map Collection, reference 1160.


Exploring the past through objects, from bones which reveal disease to maps of Yorkshire's past.

We are open to all. Here are various ways you can access the collections and our services.

Plan a visit

Come and see the collections for yourself!

Get copies

Want to photograph collections? Need us to make copies for you? Here's what you need to know.

Services for staff and students

Our collections are open to all, but we offer some extra help to our students and colleagues.

Archive Accreditation

As an Accredited Archive, we aim to offer the highest standards of collections care and customer service.

Contact Special Collections




+44 (0) 1274 235256.


Postal address

Special Collections
J. B. Priestley Library
University of Bradford
Bradford. BD7 1DP.