Manuscripts and Special Collections
   
   
  

Glossary

Term Definition
Archives Original items (e.g. documents, files, letters, photographs) created or collected by a particular person or organisation and retained over time
Archives office Place where archives are stored and made available to researchers. See also record office, repository, muniments
Archivist The person in charge of preserving archives
Calendar List of a collection of deeds or documents in chronological order, including summaries or detailed transcriptions of the contents of each document. Often created in the 19th and 20th centuries for older records of central or local government
Catalogue Descriptive list of items within an archive collection
Collection Items created or collected by one particular person or organisation, and maintained as a distinct grouping in the archives
Family Records Centre Part of The National Archives; holds copies of birth, marriage, death, census and probate records
Finding aid Descriptive list of items within an archive collection
Fonds Another word for collection
Manuscripts 1. Handwritten documents
2. Collection of original documents or papers brought together because of the information they contain
Microform Generic word for microfilm or microfiche: method of reproducing and viewing copies of original documents
Muniments Another word for archives, not often used nowadays. Also (muniments room) a place where archives are stored and made available to researchers. See also archives office, record office, repository
National Register of Archives Hosted by The National Archives: contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history
Palaeography The study of old handwriting and the skills required to read it
Primary source Contemporary document or book which can be used as historical evidence by researchers
Public Record Office Old name for The National Archives, no longer used
Record office Place where archives are stored and made available to researchers. See also archives office, repository, muniments
Reference number Unique code given to each individual document in an archive
Repository Place where archives are stored and made available to researchers. See also archives office, record office, muniments
Secondary source Book, thesis or article written by a researcher who has used primary sources
Series Sub-group within a collection, e.g. deeds, correspondence, accounts
Store Secure room used to store archives. Also sometimes called a strongroom or a muniments room. Modern stores are environmentally monitored and controlled
Surrogate Facsimile version of an original document made to look as close to the original as possible
The National Archives Archives office in Kew which holds the records of central government in England and the United Kingdom

 

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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651
email: mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk