About the collections
Our internationally recognised collections include materials from the Middle Ages to the late 20th century over a range of subject areas.
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.
Windows on War: a collaborative project between University of Nottingham researchers, Manuscripts and Special Collections and digital technologies experts.
Principal collections for Classics students and researchers
Special Collection is the name for a collection which has been built up over the years from general library stock. It comprises those books which have been considered inappropriate for open library shelves, due to their age, rarity, fragility, or for other reasons. All books published before 1850 are transferred into Special Collection. Special Collection contains older and rare works relating to the classics.
Many of the items in the collection are accessible through the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue (UNLOC). To browse the Collection, on the Basic Search screen, select 'Special Collection' in the Field to Search drop-down menu and enter the search term SPEC (the code for Special Collection).
Online Catalogue record for Special Collection
Briggs Collection of Educational Literature
This collection primarily focuses on printed works of instruction for children from the 16th to the early 19th century. The material covers the teaching of all branches of knowledge pre-1850, offering scope for the study of particular disciplines as well as specific examples of classroom texts. As such, it contains examples of books in Latin and works on the classics.
The collection is catalogued on the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue (UNLOC). To browse the Collection, on the Basic Search screen, select 'Special Collection' in the Field to Search drop-down menu and enter the search term BCEL (the code for Briggs Collection of Educational Literature).
Fuller description for the Briggs Collection of Educational Literature
Queen Elizabeth's School Library
The collection comprises part of the old school library of Queen Elizabeth’s School for Boys, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. It numbers some 75 early books, consisting principally of classical texts, theology, and church history. About half the collection was printed before 1600, and many of the texts are in Latin.
The collection is catalogued on the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue (UNLOC). To browse the Collection, on the Basic Search screen, select 'Special Collection' in the Field to Search drop-down menu and enter the search term QESL (the code for Queen Elizabeth's School Library).
Fuller description of the Queen Elizabeth's School Library
Early 13th century collection of Latin grammatical and philosophical treatises
This is a medieval bound volume, written in early 13th century hands. It contains grammatical texts and poems on Latin grammar, as used in the medieval school curriculum. It appears to have been used by students in the 14th and 15th centuries and includes rough sketches and words scribbled in at various places.
Visiting Manuscripts and Special Collections
Students and researchers are always welcome to visit the Reading Room to find out more about the collections, and how they can be used.
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
Manuscripts and Special Collections is is located at King's Meadow Campus.