Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Our Scan & Send service enables digital access to materials for remote researchers.  Images are provided for research, rather than publication purposes, and requests are prioritised according to the urgency of need.  Large-scale digitisation is not possible as we focus on supporting numerous requests.   

The Reading Room is open, by appointment, Monday to Friday 10.00am to 4.00pm.



Frequently Asked Questions

What is available online?

  • Our website is always open, and includes resources such as online catalogues, information about the collections, and digital collections that can be accessed remotely.


What is Scan & Send?

  • We provide a Scan & Send service to provide images of items in collection for researchers who cannot visit in person.  Images are provided for research rather than publication purposes, and we aim to prioritise provision according to the urgency of need.  Please note, as we need to focus on supporting numerous requests, this is not a large-scale, project, digitisation service.   Please email requests and queries to 
  • Unfortunately, we are not able to carry out image research on your behalf.  Please provide specific details where you can, to help us respond to your request.
  • Scanning requests are prioritised according to urgency of research need. Please advise us of any deadlines - academic, publishing or other - that might apply.  Please allow a turn-around time of up to 12 weeks for non-urgent enquiries.

 Who can visit the Reading Room?

  • Aberdeen University staff and students can arrange - advance notice is required -  research visits to the Reading Room.   Please contact the Reading Room for further information if you are not a current member of the University.

What materials are available in the Reading Room?

  • Most items in the collection are available, but it may be necessary to limit the number of materials available on each visit, and advance notice is required for acess to the majority of materials; most items will be brought to your desk.
  • Browseable access to collections  - Local, S and RR Periodicals - that are shelved in the Reading Room is possible.  Please let Reading Room staff know if you wish to access these materials. 

 How do I arrange a research visit?

  • At least three days in advance, please email the Wolfson Reading Room on  giving details of the materials you wish to consult and the date(s) you wish to visit.
  • Priority will be given to time-limited research needs.
  • You will be sent a Registration Form with details of the material that will be available and the arrangements for your visit. You must confirm these arrangements by email to by 4:00pm the day before your visit.
  • Research visits available for individual researchers only, group visits are currently not possible.
  • Please let us know if you have any additional access, including accessibility, requirements so that any alternative arrangements can be discussed in advance.

When can I visit?

  • Appointments will be offered Monday to Friday, subject to availability of research space in the Reading Room.

 Can I visit on consecutive days?

  • This may be possible, depending on material and research space availability, we aim to provide research access fairly and equitably.   Please discuss with Reading Room staff.
  • If you require a return visit, but have not made an appointment for another day, please speak to a member of Reading Room staff.   If material is not reserved in advance for re-use it may not be available again for 24 hours.

 Can I make research copies?

  • Yes.  You are encouraged to make digital research copies of most items in the collections.  Staff will advise in advance of any conservation or copyright restrictions that might apply.
  • Please bring your own handheld camera, or phone; staff are not able to digitise material for you on the day of your visit.

 Will the lockers be available?

  • Yes, lockers are available.
  • Lockers are used by one person per day.  In consideration of other researchers please clean the locker after you, wipes are available by the lockers and may also be used to clean the locker before you use it.
  • Please place your belongings in an available locker and only take into the Reading Room what you need.  A token will be in the locker when you arrive, please leave both token and key in the locker at the end of your visit.

 What can I bring with me and what facilities will be available?

  • Please be aware that, for conservation and preservation reasons, Reading Room guidelines still apply Guidance | Special Collections | The University of Aberdeen (
  • Please bring your own laptop, tablet, smartphone, camera, notebook, pencils, pencil sharpener, magnifying glass etc.  Unfortunately, we cannot provide equipment for sharing
  • Please wash your hands immediately before entering the Reading Room, this is for hand hygiene and collection care reasons - hand sanitiser residue can damage items in the collections.   For the same reason, hand sanitiser may not be used in the Reading Room
  • A water fountain is available in the locker area.  Please bring your own bottle to refill and please follow the H&S guidelines posted by the water fountain.  Water bottles should be left in your locker - for preservation and conservation reasons water is not allowed in the Reading Room
  • The Hardback Café is open, and socially distanced seating is available for café customers.  Currently, food and drink, other than bottled water, may not be consumed elsewhere in the library.  Take-away options are available on the Old Aberdeen campus.

 Will I need to wear a face covering?

  • As the Library is a public space, wearing a face-covering is required at all times other than in the Hardback Café.  Please advise us in advance if you are exempted from wearing a mask.

Do you collect information for contact tracing?

  • Yes, records of who has been in the building may be provided to the NHS to support Test and Protect.

 What other Health & Safety measures will be in place?

Enhanced hygiene measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission include:

  • Transparent screens at entry and enquiry points
  • Hand sanitiser stations are available around the building, including outside the Reading Room. Please note that hand washing is required immediately before entering the Reading Room due to the risk of gel residue on materials.
  • Staggered arrival times for researchers
  • Designated socially distanced seating in the Reading Room
  • All materials, book supports, weights, microfilm reader etc. cleaned or quarantined in accordance with current guidance
  • Lockers and hard surfaces in the Reading Room cleaned regularly and between visits
  • Enhanced cleaning schedules for toilets and touch points