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Unlike library books, manuscripts and archives are not aranged by subject matter. They are kept as they were found, in their original groupings, so researchers can understand the context of a document. The contents of over 500 collections held at the University of Nottingham are described online through the Manuscripts Online Catalogue. There will be an entry giving an overview of the whole collection, then further entries in a hierarchy giving more detailed descriptions of sections of the collection, and of individual documents. Archive catalogues do not include digital images or full transcripts of the documents they describe. They are a tool to help you decide if you want to see the original item.
Items from the rare book collections are catalogued on the University of Nottingham Library Online Catalogue (UK only). You can identify these because they will be shown with the location as King's Meadow Campus, and be part of a named collection. To see the books in a special collection, put the name of the collection as your search term, and change “All Fields” to “Special Collection”.
More information on catalogues
Items from the collections are increasingly being digitised , and the Exhibitions and Gallery section of the Manuscripts and Special Collections website provides links to online exhibitions and to a digital repository called Historic Collections Online. A growing number of online resources and research guidance units include images of manuscripts and archives, with advice on how to use them effectively.
More from the Manuscripts and special collections website
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