Manuscripts and Special Collections

Searching the catalogues

Online catalogues of water related collections are growing all the time and a recent cataloguing project means that file or item level descriptions are now available for most of the water collections. Users wishing to search for water related archives using the Manuscripts Online Catalogue may find the following information and advice useful. Please note that typescript hard copy versions of the catalogues which are available in our reading rooms may be out of date and users should consult the online catalogues for the most recent and detailed version. Digitised images of some records can be seen on our Digital Gallery.

Collection Level Descriptions

The online catalogue contains overall descriptions of each water related collection. The full catalogue structure can be viewed from these collection level descriptions allowing users to browse to individual file or item descriptions. They can be accessed directly from the opening search screen of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue by clicking on the drop-down arrow at the top of the screen next to 'Discover our Collections'. Select 'Browse by subject/type', and choose 'Rivers, drainage and water records'. This will retrieve a full list of all the collections in question.

Alternatively, they can be browsed from the following links:


Search Strategies

From the opening screen of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, type a keyword into the 'Find a record' box. For more results, click on 'Advanced Search' and conduct a search across multiple fields by typing keywords into the 'Free text search' box.

If you find you are retrieving a number of false hits, you can narrow your search down by using the other search options in 'Advanced Search'. For instance, type your required search term into the 'Free text search' box, and also type 'RE/DOP' into the 'Document Reference' box. This will ensure that only results from the photographic records of the Engineer's Department of the Trent River Authority (and predecessors) collection are retrieved.

Searches can also be narrowed down by date. Type your required search term into 'Free text search', and also type the exact year, or a range of years, into the 'Date of Creation' field. You can even combine this with a 'Document Reference' search to target the search still further.

Remember to try alternative spellings if there are no initial results. 

As yet, searching via name, place or subject indexes is not available for water related collections. Names, places and words can be searched for using the free text search strategies listed above. Remember to try alternative spellings if there are no initial results.


Next page:  Timeline of water-related developments and legislation in Nottingham and the East Midlands


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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