At UCA, our four campus libraries are far more than just places to take out books.
They're quiet places to study away from your accommodation, places to discover archival material, rare broadcasts and texts, places to socialise with a coffee with your friends and the hub of our student support services.
Each of our campuses has a library stacked with everything you need, not only for your studies but also for university life.
We'd like to show you a little more of what our libraries have to offer, so read on to find out about the various resources we have, and how you can access them.
The Elaine Thomas Library, UCA Farnham
Library, UCA Epsom
Library, UCA Canterbury
There are multiple ways in which you can do your research for your studies, or for your own personal interests - here are the various resources we have in our libraries.
Our libraries are home to Learning Development Tutors who can assist you with your studies - from time management and presenting skills to improving your writing and critical thinking skills - and Liaison Librarians, who are on hand to help you get the best from your library.
We have a rich repository of archival material and special collections of rare and unique items - from original letters and artwork, to the back catalogue of Oscar-winning animator (and BA Animation founder) Bob Godfrey.
More information about our archives and special collections
We have a large number of artists' books - art that uses text and image in the form of books or other objects, including ‘zines and student work.
We have more than 200,000 books in print and electronic formats – which you can loan from your campus library, or source from our other campuses.
You'll have access to more than 50 databases that we've subscribed to, to help you with your studies. They contain collections of articles, images, ebooks and other material.
A selection of dissertations and theses from previous students over the last three years are available for you to peruse.
Our subscription to a number of image databases - including UCA resourceBank, Art Museum Image Gallery, Britannica Imagequest, Getty Images, and Metropolitan Museum of Art Online - means you'll have hundreds of thousands of image references at your fingertips.
Journals are a useful tool for your area of study, offering the latest in current research and thought-leader pieces - we have a wide range of journal subscriptions which you can access.
With more than 19,000 DVDs and access to a number of specialist arts streaming databases, you'll be able to reference a wide range of videos, television programmes and other learning resources.
This is a national image repository hosted by UCA, and comprises 140,000 items and associated metadata from 300 collections, brought together online to enhance learning, teaching and research in the visual and creative arts.
If you want to take a look at the research undertaken by UCA staff, and PhD theses, then we have open online access via our UCARO (UCA Research Online) service.
You don't have to be a student or a staff member to access our libraries - there are various access options available to you depending on whether you're UCA alumni, a member of the public or work in education.
If you're an UCA alumni network member - you can access our libraries for reference purposes and to borrow items free of charge up to three years after you’ve graduated. If you wish to continue borrowing after this period you can join our membership scheme for £15 a year.
If you work in education as an art teacher, careers advisor or school librarian - you can have free library membership with extensive access - just download and complete our External Library membership application form.
UCA students and staff members - did you know you can also access other libraries at universities across the country through SCONUL Access? Find out more here.
If you're a member of the public - you can access our libraries and online resources for reference, or you can become an External Borrowing Member for £25 a year. If you'd like to do this, download and complete our External Library membership application form.
Our libraries are now open to external visitors and alumni and if you're visiting us for the first time:
- Please contact Gateway via email at least one week ahead of your planned visit.
- You will receive the Visitor’s Guide which you will need to read and confirm with Gateway by return of email that you have read and will follow the guidance given.
- On the day of your visit, you will need to sign in at the University’s Main Reception and be issued with a visitors’ ID badge, which you will need to wear.
- You will need to wear a face covering while on campus unless you are exempt. If you are exempt, please can we encourage you to wear a sunflower lanyard.
- On arrival in the library, please let the Gateway you have arrived.
For future visits you are asked to contact Gateway at least 48 hours in advance and will need to only follow points 3-5 above on your next visit, unless the guidance changes.
Our libraries offer extensive student support services - from help with your study to financial advance and even counselling - to enhance your university experience.