COVID-19 Courtesy of


To our staff, student community and global researchers and patrons.

In line with the University of Newcastle’s COVID-19 safety advice, the Special Collections is placing the following measures in place for observing safe practice:

  • For the ongoing safety of our volunteers and staff, Special Collection has paused in-person volunteer activities – to be reviewed in April 2021.
  • Staff in Special Collections are available to facilitate ongoing service requirements.
    • Staff aim to provide clients with digital access to our collections within a reasonable time frame
    • Where it is not feasible to digitise an item, physical access can be provided by appointment only by emailing
  • While the university campuses remain open, it is for staff, students and those with library memberships (Community Borrowers). If a client does not fall into any of these categories, Special Collections staff may to request approval through prior to booking an appointment.

To use our digital content please check our page on the university website.

Special Collections’ procedures for in-situ visitors:

Making appointments:

  • Contact the library for access to required items.
  • If possible, a digital version of the requested item should be generated and sent to you in reasonable time.
  • Where digitisation is not feasible, physical access can be provided by appointment only.
  • Make an appointment by emailing
  • 1– 2 days before your scheduled appointment, clients will be asked to confirm the following:
    • Have you recently tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Are you currently waiting for the COVID-19 test results?
    • Have you recently visited any COVID-19 hotspots?
    • Have you been in contact with a person from a COVID-19 hotspot?
    • Have you been in contact with a person displaying COVID-19 symptoms?
    • Do you feel unwell, showing flu like symptoms and/or are you displaying COVID-19 symptoms?
  • An electronic register of the people who have accessed the Special Collections and items consulted during the Covid-19 outbreak will be retained.

Attending the reading session:

  • Maximum of 2 clients at each time are allowed into the Reading Room.
  • The doors to Special Collections will remain closed throughout each session.
  • At the beginning of the session clients must sanitise and dry their hands.
  • Clients must wear protective gloves and masks for the entire session.
  • Clients are required to BRING THEIR OWN MASKS, but will be provided with Nitrile gloves
  • Staff will deliver selected research materials to clients seated at the reading room tables.
  • Reading tables will be disinfected by staff before and after use.
  • Each client needs to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from other clients and the Special Collections staff.
  • At the end of the session the client’s will be asked to dispose their gloves in the bin provided.

Protective measures for staff:

  • All staff must wear protective gloves while handling items.
  • Staff will aim to ensure that all handled collection material will be labelled with the use-date and isolated for a period of 72 hours. Quarantined material cannot be used by other client or library staff during the period of quarantine.
  • All used surfaces including photocopier, door handles, working desks and phones, keyboards, fridge and kettle handles will be cleaned on regular basis.
  • After each session, staff members must dispose of their protective gloves and mask in the assigned disposal bin and wash their hands at the end of the session.

Hunter Living Histories Meetings

Meetings will be conducted via Zoom only for participants who can access the technology.