About the Manuscripts Online Catalogue


Collection-level descriptions and indexes


Over 600 manuscript and archive collections are described in the catalogue. We use the word 'fonds' in the 'Level' field to mean a distinct collection of material. Collections range in size from thousands of items (e.g. the D.H. Lawrence Collection or the Newcastle Collection) to a single item donated by an individual. The collection-level, or fonds-level record describes the whole collection in one record.

Collection-level descriptions include indexing of the main people, families, corporate bodies and places featured in the collection. To search these indexes, choose either 'Search for people or companies', or 'Search for places' from the left-hand menu. Subjects can be searched by going to 'Search our catalogue' and entering a search term into the 'Subject term' field.

Some of the collections also have sub-collection descriptions at SubFonds or SubSubFonds level.

The collection-level records describe archive, manuscript and special printed book collections. Where appropriate, the records have links to the University of Nottingham's Library Catalogue (UNLOC) which describes individual items from special printed book collections.


Detailed descriptions


Many manuscript and archive collections are also described in more detail in the online catalogue. Some collections have been catalogued right down to individual item and piece.

There are over 250,000 of these detailed records available to the public through this catalogue.

Many of these records are indexed for the main people, families, corporate bodies and places featured in the records. To search these indexes, choose either 'Search the name index', or 'Search the place index' from the left-hand menu. Subjects can be searched by going to 'Search the catalogue' and entering a search term into the 'Subject term' field.

Not all records have been indexed and a free-text search may return more relevant hits than searching via the indexes.


Archdeaconry of Nottingham indexing


The Archdeaconry of Nottingham collection is described in the main catalogue.
Regular users may be aware that the previous version of the catalogue, used until 2015, included two sets of specialists indexes, for:
  • information relating to events, namely churchwarden presentment bills submitted to the Archdeaconry court, some marriage bonds, some declarations of penance, and some excommunications.
  • information about individuals named in churchwarden presentment bills, some marriage bonds, some declarations of penance, and some excommunications.

The events information is now part of the main catalogue and can be searched via the 'Search the catalogue' search form.
The Archdeaconry name indexes have now been combined with the main index for people, families and corporate bodies, and can be searched via the 'Search the name index' search form.
Further advice and guidance is given in the Help page 'Name index'.


Images


The Manuscripts Online Catalogue does not contain images of documents, only descriptions of them. Some images from our collections appear on our Historic Collections Online resource.
Search Historic Collections Online.


Transcripts and name indexes


For many years, our dedicated volunteers have been indexing and transcribing the details from some manuscript sources. This is an ongoing project and the indices will be updated as more transcriptions are completed. The indices are not part of the Manuscripts Online Catalogue, but are accessed from a page on our website.
Search the Indices.

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