University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Archives

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Manuscript or muniment?

Manuscript or muniment?

Our archive collections contain unique materials in many different formats, covering a wide range of subjects and a time span of two millennia. The archives are held in either the manuscript collection or the muniment collection. The archives team includes specialists in both collections, and in the preservation and interpretation of both analogue and digital materials. Catalogue records for both collections are included in one online catalogue.

The easiest way of determining whether an item is manuscript or muniment is to consider whether it would have been created by the University in the course of its business. This would include senate minutes, matriculation and graduation records, titles for University properties, administrative files, records of students and staff and financial records. If so, then it will generally be held within the muniment collection.

All other archival material will be found within the hugely varied manuscript collection. Papers from academic departments and research papers of staff members of the University are considered to be manuscripts and will be found in the personal papers section, or under the name of the relevant subject such as Botany and Chemistry Department Papers.

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.