University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Archives

Manuscripts

The Manuscript Collections

Images of the Manuscript Collections

Our manuscript collections are used not only to support the teaching and research activities of the University but are also important for historical studies in the wider academic community, and as a public resource open to everyone.

Handwritten papers, often known as archives, have been collected by the University and are still being acquired by gift and purchase, as well as being held on deposit for their owners. Many relate to our local area of North East Fife, such as records of churches and burghs, local estates, schools, societies and sports, including, of course, golf. There are also papers from local businesses such as solicitors, engineers, papermakers, furniture firms and architects. Our St Andrews Collection takes in archives of local interest and from local groups. If you have minutes of community groups or societies based in this area, which you would like to deposit, please contact our Manuscript Archivist.

We also hold personal papers of people who are or have been connected with St Andrews, and have collections covering many academic subjects, such as botany, chemistry, social anthropology, astronomy, marine biology, mathematics, classics and oriental languages.  

To discover what we hold search our online catalogue. However, please note only part of our collection catalogues are currently available online. We are working to add hard-copy catalogues to the online version. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or need help please contact us.

We also have brief collection-level descriptions of many of our collections on the Archives Hub, on SCAN and GASHE websites.

Manuscript or muniment?

Not quite sure what the difference is? Learn about how to distinguish between our different archival collections.

Collection development policy

Discover how the Special Collections Division makes decisions on the development of its manuscript and muniment collections.

Current projects

Read about the exciting projects the Archive team is currently working on, and those that have been completed recently.