University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

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History of the University

History of the University

This University was the first in Scotland and the third to be founded in the English-speaking world. Our recorded history spans more than 600 years. There is more information about the history of the University elsewhere on the University website. A very small selection of important items from the Library are on display in the Museum of the University of St Andrews (MUSA), which tells the story of the University.

The history of the University is still being created today. Throughout the centuries it tells of men and women of international, national and local importance, brought to this beautiful corner of North-East Fife to share in the academic endeavour. The stories of the University's past can be re-discovered today through the records held in the institutional archive, known locally as the Muniment Collection.

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.