Searching the catalogues
Online versions of our catalogues of health-related collections are growing all the time. Users wishing to search online for hospitals and health-related archives may find the following information and advice useful.
University of Nottingham Library Catalogue (NUsearch)
Many of the books held in Special Collections are catalogued on the University of Nottingham Library Catalogue (NUsearch).
The following is a list of special collections which include material relating to health and hospitals, with the codes that can be used to browse the collection in UNLOC. In each case, there is a link to the catalogue entry on Manuscripts and Special Collections' online catalogue, which gives more details about the scope of the collection, and guidance on how to browse and search for items in the particular collection:
Collection Level Descriptions
The Manuscripts Online Catalogue contains overall descriptions of each health-related manuscript collection. They can be accessed directly from the opening search screen of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue by clicking on the drop-down menu at the bottom left of the screen which reads 'Browse collection-level records'. Select 'Health records' and then click 'Go'. This will retrieve a full list of all the collections in question. Alternatively, they can be browsed from the links in the Collections at Nottingham University Library page in this resource.
Item level catalogues
Some manuscript collections have been catalogued in detail, giving descriptions of each individual item or bundle. These descriptions are available as part of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue . Not every collection has been catalogued to item level.
Item descriptions can be retrieved by searching for the collection's reference number. For instance, in the Search Catalogues form in the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, type 'Uhg' into the 'Document Ref' field to retrieve all records from the Nottingham General Hospital collection.
Alternatively, the whole scope of the collection can be browsed. Click the 'View collection tree' link in the collection-level description. Wherever you see 'View Record', click on it to reveal more information. Alternatively, use the search strategies listed in the next section below to retrieve results from across a number of catalogues.
The following health-related catalogues are available at item level on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue:
From the opening search screen of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, click on 'Search the main catalogue - Catalogue records'. You can conduct a free text search across multiple fields by typing a keyword into the 'AnyText' box.
If you find you are retrieving a number of false hits, you can narrow your search down by using the other search options. For instance, type your required search term into the 'AnyText' box, and also type 'Uhc' into the 'DocumentRef' box. This will ensure that only results from the Nottingham Children's Hospital collection are retrieved.
Searches can also be narrowed down by date. Type your required search term into 'AnyText', and also type the exact year, or a range of years, into the 'Date' field. You can even combine this with a 'DocumentRef' search to target the search still further.
Remember to try alternative spellings if there are no initial results.
The main hospital collections have not been indexed at item level to a very detailed extent, but all collection level descriptions, plus item level records from the Newcastle, Portland, Denison and Buchanan collections can be searched via name, place or subject indexes.
By selecting 'Search the main catalogue - Indexing - person/corporate name' in the opening search screen of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, you will be able to access individual name authority terms - for example, the name authority for Florence Nightingale (enter 'Nightingale' in the surname field and 'Florence' in the forename field). From this, you will be able to link directly to a description of every document from, to or about Miss Nightingale. This also works for corporate names (names of businesses or organisations) such as 'Nottingham General Hospital'.
By selecting 'Search the main catalogue - Indexing - place' in the opening search screen of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, you can search all of the place name authorities included within the system. Therefore, if you wish to know more about events in a particular place, you could access information by entering the place name in the 'CityTownVillage' field. This will retrieve the name authority term for that place, and will enable you to link to every catalogue record containing information about the place.
You will also be able to conduct a subject search of descriptions contained within the catalogue, by putting a search term in the 'Term' box of 'Search the main catalogue - Catalogue records'. For example you could retrieve every document with the subject index term 'inoculation', whether inoculation was mentioned explicitly in the document/description or not.
A list of possible relevant subject terms is provided here for guidance purposes. The terms specified are simply a selection, and relate predominantly to general health matters. If a term does not appear in the list, this does not mean that it will not appear in the online catalogue.
- appointments, medical
- buildings, hospitals
- burial grounds
- childbirth and pregnancy
- clubs and societies
- dental treatment
- food and drink
- Health services administration
- health and safety
- Maternal health services
- medical conditions [sometimes with an added descriptor]
- Medical care
- Medical libraries
- medical treatments [sometimes with an added descriptor]
- Mental health services
- Nurse practitioners
- occupations and professions [with added descriptor, e.g. dentist, doctor, nurse, surgeon]
- Pharmaceutical industry
- social conditions
Next page: Related collections held elsewhere