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FindIt@Bham: Finding archives and rare books

FindIt@Bham online help

Finding archives

The Cadbury Research Library (CRL) holds over 200,000 rare books and 4 million archive items.  To consult CRL items, you will need to visit us and view the books and archives in our searchroom as our items are not loanable.

If you wish to search for holdings at the Cadbury Research Library, select On the Shelves from the red drop-down menu.  Then, from the second drop-down menu, you can select one of three options:

  • Cadbury Research Library:  This will allow a search across all our rare books and archives
  • CRL (Archives):  This will search just our archive items
  • CRL (Rare Books):  This will search just our rare books

Type your keywords in the search box and click on the search icon.  In this example, the search is for material on Harriet Martineau:


Archives are indicated by a turquoise icon:

Here, you can click on the title to see a summary description of the archive.

If you click on View Full Record, you will be taken to the Cadbury Research Library's external archive catalogue:

From here, by clicking on the Finding Number (in this case, HM), you will be able to view the full archive catalogue and see how the one entry you originally selected fits with other archives from the same collection.  Often, researchers find they are interested in the whole archive rather than just one specific item.     

If you would like to visit to view material, make a note of the Finding Number and have it available when you visit the Cadbury Research Library. 

Finding books in the Cadbury Research Library

To search for old and rare books held in the Cadbury Research Library, do a catalogue search in the usual way, by author's name, title or keyword, and set the first drop-down option to On the Shelves, and the second option to CRL (Rare Books):

For rare books held at the CRL, you will usually see a blue book icon, but there are occasions when the front cover image might also be displayed:

Most of our books will have the location Cadbury Research Library.  In these instances, make a note of the book's classmark and visit the Cadbury Research Library. 

If the location shows Cadbury Research Library Store, these books are held off site and it will take at least one working day to retrieve them. Click on Check for current availability to see further details.  From here, you can click on Get It to request the book:

You will be taken to an online form.  Once the form is completed and submitted, your book will be ready within a day or two for you to visit the Cadbury Research Library and consult it in our searchroom.

Visiting the Cadbury Research Library

Please read the information on Visiting the Cadbury Research Library which includes identification requirements.

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