Manuscripts and Special Collections

Find catalogue records

Suggested searches

There are two ways of doing multiple searches:

  • search for one term at a time and narrow/widen the search each time
  • specify multiple terms (single words only) in the same search, and choose the Word option 'OR'

Both approaches are used in the following examples:

  • 1831 riots in Nottingham
    'civil disorder' in Term and '1831' in date
  • 1832 Reform Bill
    'Reform Bill' in Term and '1831-1832' in Date
  • 19th Century bribery and corruption in elections
    First search
    'bribery and corruption' in Term
    Second search (narrow)
    'elections' in Term
    '1800-1900' in Date
    (Note that it takes a little longer for results to appear when searching for span dates)
  • Chartism
    First search
    'chartism chartist' in Term, with 'match any of the words (OR)' selected
    Second search (widen)
    'civil disorder, Nottinghamshire 1839' in Term
    Third search (widen)
    'civil disorder, Mansfield 1839' in Term
  • Luddism
    First search
    'luddism luddite luddites' in Free text fields, with 'match any of the words (OR)' selected.
    Second search (widen)
    'civil disorder, Nottinghamshire 1812' in Term.
  • Corn Laws, elections and Nottinghamshire
    First search
    'Corn Laws' in Term, with 'match the exact phrase' selected
    Second search (narrow)
    'elections Nottinghamshire' in Term, with 'match any of the words (OR)' selected
  • Ireland in the 1820s and the emancipation question
    First search
    'religious affairs, Roman Catholic emancipation' in Term, with 'contains the exact phrases' selected
    Second search (widen)
    'Irish affairs' in Term, with 'match the exact phrase' selected
    '1820-1830' in Date
  • The Maynooth Grant controversy
    First search
    'Maynooth' in Term
    Second search (widen)
    'Irish affairs, religion' in Term, with 'match the exact phrase' selected
    '1845-1846' in Date
  • Ireland in general
    'Irish Ireland' in Term, with 'match any of the words (OR)' selected; and your chosen dates, e.g. '1820-1846' in Date

For users who wish to undertake further research on particular subject themes, people or places, Manuscripts and Special Collections has a number of catalogue resources which may be of assistance.


Newcastle Diaries

The Manuscripts Online Catalogue contains full descriptions of each of the Newcastle diaries (Ne 2F). The descriptions indicate the overall covering dates of each individual diary volume and give a brief summary of the nature of the content.


Manuscripts Online Catalogue

The University of Nottingham holds several archive collections which contain documents relating to the subject themes illustrated within 'Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle'.

During the 19th century, the fortunes and interests of Nottinghamshire’s leading landed families were very closely intertwined. They were often linked by marriage, they moved in the same social circles, they had overlapping landholdings - and consequently overlapping political interests. Whether in conflict or agreement with each other, most took an active interest in the political activities of their contemporaries - either on the local or the national stage. Their papers are consequently peppered with relevant information, which may often provide an alternative interpretation or opinions about people or events.

The Newcastle, Denison and most of the Portland papers have been the subject of significant funding grants in recent years, resulting in the creation of detailed, item level descriptions with full indexes. Many other collections are also available on the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, but without the detailed indexes.

Using 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.

Users should note the following:

  • A record will only be returned if it contains the exact search term - any differences in spelling, etc, will mean that some documents may not be retrieved.
  • When using a commonly used term, users may find themselves faced with numerous false hits. For example, if you wished to retrieve documents by or about the Earl of Lincoln, and used ‘Lincoln’ as a search term, you would also retrieve every document relating to the place called Lincoln.

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 'Ne' into the 'DocumentRef' box. This will ensure that only results from the Newcastle archive 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. 


Name indexes (selected collections only)

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. When you view a name authority record, you can choose to see all manuscript catalogue records associated with it. For example, you can view the record for Thomas Thoroton-Hildyard (enter ‘Hildyard' as surname and 'Thomas' as forename) and then choose to view the manuscript catalogue records that relate to that name.

The Newcastle, Denison and most of the Portland papers have been the subject of significant funding grants in recent years, resulting in the creation of detailed, item level descriptions with full indexes.

For more information about people mentioned in 'Politics of the 4th Duke of Newcastle', see the series of Biographies.


Place indexes (selected collections only)

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 'PlaceEntry' 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. 


Searching using subject terms (selected collections only)

Free text searching cannot provide access to concepts - that is, terms or ideas which are not mentioned explicitly in the description. For example, a letter by the 4th Duke may be all about the passage of the Reform Bill, but may not say so specifically. The Newcastle, Denison and most of the Portland papers have been catalogued using subject terms. See the table on the right of this page for suggested searches, and below for more suggested search terms.

  • colleges, Maynooth College
  • Corn Laws
  • elections, South Nottinghamshire 1846
  • elections, Newark 1846
  • elections, candidates
  • elections, canvass
  • elections, speeches
  • expenses, elections
  • Free Trade
  • Irish affairs
  • Irish affairs, Maynooth Grant
  • parliamentary business, acts
  • parliamentary business, bills
  • political relations
  • politics, local, Newark
  • politics, local, Nottinghamshire
  • religions, Roman Catholicism
  • religious affairs, Roman Catholic emancipation  


Next page: About the project


Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

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