Manuscripts and Special Collections

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to be a member of the University to consult manuscripts and special collections at Nottingham?

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No, but admission is allowed to external researchers at the Keeper's discretion.

You will need to be registered as a user in the Reading Room and bring proof of identity. You will then be issued with a Reader's Ticket which you should bring on any subsequent visit.

What is the difference between manuscripts and special collections?

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The manuscripts and archives consist of unique materials, often held and referred to as named collections, e.g. The Portland (Welbeck) Collection.


The special collections consist primarily of published materials, again often held within named collections, e.g. The Briggs Collection of Educational Literature.


Published works sometimes lie within the manuscript collections, and the same subjects can be found in both categories.


Staff can advise readers on the appropriate categories to search. 

Can I find catalogues of all your holdings on this web site?

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No, it will take many years to complete the conversion of all finding aids for manuscripts, and catalogue records for older printed books.
Do I need to make an appointment to consult manuscripts and special collections?

Yes, it is important to make an appointment and to let the Reading Room know in advance what you are likely to wish to consult.  


Please contact us in advance.

Is there any charge for the use of manuscripts and special collections?
No, there is no charge for consulting any material held in the Department of Manuscripts and Special Collections.
Will members of staff undertake research in the manuscripts and special collections on my behalf?

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No, we cannot undertake extended searches of the collections.


But we do provide advice on services, catalogues and holdings.



Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651