Faculty of Arts

Manuscripts and Special Collections

The University is proud of its large and rich collections of manuscripts, archives and rare books, held by Manuscripts & Special Collections, a part of the University Library. The collections are open to all students and staff, and offer enormous research potential, as well as exciting opportunities for students to see and use original documents during the course of their studies. 

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Students and researchers are always welcome to visit the Reading Room to find out more about the collections, and how they can be used

About the collections

The collections include materials from the Middle Ages to the late 20th century over a range of subject areas, and are internationally recognised; in 2005 some of the largest (Newcastle, Portland, and D.H. Lawrence) were designated as being of outstanding national and international importance by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council. The University Library has been actively collecting manuscripts and archives from the 1930s, and there are now over 3 million items in over 600 archive and manuscript collections. There are also special collections of rare books and published works, many of which have overlapping connections with the manuscript collections.

Visiting Manuscripts and Special Collections

Manuscripts and Special Collections is part of the University's library services and is located at King's Meadow Campus.

Material relating to particular subjects can be scattered through the collections and difficult to locate, but the archivists will be glad to respond to enquiries and offer advice.


Principal collections for Culture, Film and Media students and researchers

Screenplay and associated papers of Paul Bernard (1927-1997), Film and Television designer and director, 1979-1987

The collection comprises papers of Paul Bernard and of his production companies, Thurza productions and Brightrose productions, relating to his screenplay of 'Lady Chatterley's Lover', and his attempts to film the adaptation.

Online catalogue entry for Paul Bernard resources



Personal and political papers of Fred Westacott (1916-2001), communist and political activist; 1920-1995

The collection contains a substantial quantity of socialist and communist pamphlet literature and ephemera relating to local and international events, causes and campaigns. Topics include racism, facism, mining, friendship with communist countries, women's rights, pensioner's rights, the Campaign for Nucleur Disarmament, the Poll Tax protests, etc.



Collection of photographs of composers, musicians and actors made by John Adcock, a Nottingham conductor, 1884-1892

About 150 of the images have been identified and 47 have been autographed by the subjects, sometimes annotated with details of the occasion and occasionally featuring a 'musical signature'. The album is an interesting record of late-19th century musical performance and popular taste, and demonstrates the attraction of celebrity.

Online catalogue entry for John Adcock resources





Faculty of Arts

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 8502
email: helen.frost@nottingham.ac.uk