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Specialist Collection

Big Lottery Funding & contributions from members has enabled UKNSWP to build up a collection of materials on sex work.  This comprises books, journal articles, research reports, project reports, leaflets and other materials: basically, any materials that relate to sex work. The main aim has been to provide a place where such a collection can be bought together and kept securely whilst ensuring that members of the UKNSWP can access all the materials in the collection.  This collection is the first of its kind in the UK.


All the materials are now housed in the specialist collections library within The Robertson Trust Library and Learning Resource Centre, Paisley Campus at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS).   A Specialist Collections Librarian is responsible for managing the collection. The collection was launched on 21st October 2008.

The UKNSWP Special Collection holds a large collection of;  reports, books and research articles concerning many aspects of sex work in the UK, as well as some information about sex work in other countries.  It also holds information about the UKNSWP itself & sex work project materials such as service leaflets, posters, and special promotions.

This comprehensive resource can be accessed by academic and other researchers, as well as by projects, police, media, local government, lawyers, refugee organisations, drug agencies, charities, students and  staff registered with UWS.  Anyone wishing to borrow from the collection and not a UKNSWP member must apply for permission in advance.  Reference access to the collection is permitted to any bona fide student or researcher.

Examples of subjects covered include:

  • Sex Worker Rights & sex worker activism
  • Sexual health and HIV/AIDS
  • Drug use
  • Outreach methods
  • Safety & violence
  • Violent attack (Ugly Mug) protocols and reports
  • Staff safety protocols
  • Working with under 18s: project protocols
  • Policing & Police liaison
  • Migrant sex work
  • Legislation
  • Policy developments
  • International sex work
  • Local and overseas contacts
  • Male and transgender sex work
  • Clients of sex workers
  • Toleration zones/managed areas
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Orders
  • Supervision and support
  • Personnel issues and specimen job descriptions etc
  • UKNSWP documentation & publications


Collection Contents & On Line Catalogue

An online list of materials catalogued to date is now available on line, to access; go to:

  • Click Special Collections link located under the heading LIBRARY on the left hand menu
  • Click on Special Collections
  • Click on U in the alphabetical list
  • Now in UKNSWP page

N.B. This is a large collection of material and the cataloguing process is ongoing and will take some months. Periodically, as new items are added, the online catalogue will be updated


Collection Contact & Borrowing from the Collection

Allison Buchanan (Special Collections Librarian) is the contact for the collection;
Tel: 0141 849 4240

If you wish to borrow materials from the collection contact Allison by phone or email.

Some materials are available electronically, many books, reports & some other materials will be posted to you for a specified leading period, other materials such as journal articles and leaflets will be copied. Individuals borrowing from the collection will cover postage costs & copying costs, if required.


Contributing Materials to the Collection!

We want the collection to grow. A key way of doing this is to ask people to contribute materials on an ongoing basis. We stress ALL TYPES OF MATERIAL ARE WELCOME. So if you are involved in writing a journal article, book or report (be it a research report or a project annual report) please send a final copy to the collection.  Equally if you have produced a project leaflet, poster, some sort of resource for sex workers, have art work from arts based sex work related initiatives, please send a copy to the collection. We also can take DVD’s and videos of fictional and non fictional material related to sex work. It is these and the project materials that often are not in traditional academic libraries, so we have the opportunity to build up a specialised resource of such items.  Some of you may have historical material electronically or in hard copy, such as project annual reports from some years ago and these would be much welcomed.  If you come across material that you have not been involved in producing but is relevant to the collection, please send copies as it may not be in there.  Even information materials that are very outdated will be welcomed by historians and social scientists so do not throw anything away – send it to the special collection.

The special collection can take items in whatever format they are available, so electronic and hard copies are equally welcomed. We want to stress we are encouraging you to send everything you can. If you only have one copy of something, we are able to make copies and return the original to you. So if you have any materials to add please contact:

Allison Buchanan
Special Collections Librarian
Tel: 0141 849 4240
Fax: 0141 848 3761


Dr Linda Cusick
Reader in Substance Use
Tel: 0141 848 3449