We welcome all research enquiries relating to materials and collections held in the Special Collections Centre. 


We prioritise research and scanning requests according to urgency of research need, please advise us of any deadlines - academic, publishing or other – that affect your request. If your enquiry requires conservation assessment of materials, we may advise that you contact us again at a later date.


Please note that we are unable to carry out extensive research on your behalf, and accept our apologies for delays in replying - particularly for requests that are not time-limited.


Our services are still limited by social distancing and safety measures, we look forward to re-establishing our pre-Covid-19 service as soon as posssible.            



Library, Museums and Special Collections enquiries are managed by Freshservice.  When you contact us you will receive an automated response with a unique ID which will stay with your enquiry.  Freshservice will be managing your enquiries, the Reading Room will still be answering them, so please email us on specialcollections@abdn.ac.uk  as usual.

Thank you, we look forward to hearing from you!

Please check these resources before you contact us

Our online catalogues and collections, including digitised records of past students, officers and graduates, contain much information that may answer or help focus your enquiry.

Past students;

If your enquiry relates to a past officer or student of the University.

Digitised and searchable copies of the published rolls of graduates of the University of Aberdeen from 1860-1970 and its antecedent institutions, King’s College (1495-1860) and Marischal College (1593-1860)

For further information on sources that may assist research on former staff, students and alumni of King’s College and Marischal Colleges, and other institutions connected with the University such as the ‘Aberdeen Colleges of Education’ please see thee factsheets;

Information about our collections and individual holdings;

These links will connect you to some of our key, and frequently accessed, sources of information.

How to contact us if you are not making a research enquiry
What happens after you contact us
  • You will receive an automatic email response to let you know that your request has reached us safely.
  • We will individually acknowledge your request within 20 working days and will advise on the likely turn round time for answering your enquiry. We answer enquiries in order of receipt and according to any deadlines that we are aware of, so the timescale will depend on the number of enquiries further up the waiting list, as well as the extent of any preliminary research that may be required to identify relevant sources. Please remember to let us know if you require a response for a particular date or purpose.
  • We will advise where and when we cannot help. For example, we cannot undertake extensive or lengthy research through large archive collections, runs of newspapers, or across numbers of student registers on behalf of enquirers. In such cases we will advise on alternative sources or suggest how you may best proceed, this may be by arranging to visit in person or if more practicable, engaging a researcher working on your behalf to do so.