Using the Hypatia Collection

We have a wide range of collections covering most subject areas for teaching and research available in Special Collections. One of the most popular and well used is the Hypatia Collection.

The collection contains books and journals exclusively by or about women. Its richness stems from the collecting habits of its creator, Dr Melissa Hardie, who acquired many ephemeral titles and books on subjects and by writers traditionally excluded from the academic canon in her aim ‘to make available published documentation about women in every aspect of their lives’. The collection is strongest on biography, social life, occupations and history, as well as on literature (especially fiction) and the arts.

The collection is used extensively, both in seminars and independent study. The range of subject areas, from the academic to the ephemeral allows for wide areas of study to find material relevant to their research or assignments by both undergraduates and postgraduates.

The Hypatia Collection is fully searchable on the library catalogue by following the instructions below:

Browse the titles by selecting ‘local classmark‘ on the ‘Search’ options and by typing ‘Hypatia’ and the first 3 letters on each subject: ie‘Hypatia Bio’ for Biographies; ‘Hypatia Dom’ for ‘Domestic Science’… etc.

The books are arranged alphabetically within subject sequences: The American Woman; Archaeology; Art; Biographies; The Cornish Woman; Crime; Diaries; Domestic Science; Education; Fiction; Health; History; Humour; Literature; Marriage and the Family; Myths and Legends; Natural World; Nursing; Occupations; Performing Arts; Poetry; Politics; Religion; Science; Topography; Travel; Women and War.

All items in the collection are reference only and are available to consult in the Special Collections reading room. Reserve an item in the collection by contacting us at or via our web pages at

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