Manuscripts and Special Collections

Collections and Catalogues

The University Library has been actively collecting manuscript and archive material for almost a century and there are now over 3.5 million records in over 800 archive and manuscript collections. The University also has a number of named special collections of rare books and published works, ranging in size from under fifty volumes to several thousand. 

Some of the collections are being regularly added to, to support current research interests, although others remain as discrete, closed collections. New collections are actively sought, to build on strengths and in support of research and teaching.



We are actively collecting content relating to student and staff life at all the University campuses to complement the insitutional records in the University Archive and would love to hear from anyone who has photographs or other papers (print or digital) to donate. We are also documenting the major events that impact the University community such as the coronavirus crisis. Our digital preservation system, Preservica, enables us to harvest webpages for the first time so we are also capturing web based content for the archives.



All Collections

All Collections

View collections by type/subject

Collections sorted by type and subject, with links to the online catalogue

All Catalogues

All Catalogues

View a list of catalogues

A full list of the various catalogues available



The manuscript and archive holdings include:

  • the papers of leading Nottinghamshire families and their estates
  • the records of local businesses and organisations, including those the Archdeaconry of Nottinghamshire
  • the papers of political, diplomatic, literary, scientific and academic figures, including D.H. Lawrence
  • some of the historical records of the University and its predecessor, University College Nottingham 

The named special collections of published works include:

  • collections relating to 18th to 19th century drama
  • children’s educational literature
  • the history of medicine
  • Icelandic literature
  • the French Revolution 
  • rare books and pre-1850 stock transferred from general library holdings

Many subject areas, such as the study of the life and works of D.H. Lawrence, feature in both the manuscript and printed book collections.


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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