University of St Andrews

University Library Special Collections

Physical records

Images of physical muniment records

The physical form of the muniment collection varies according to the historic period in which it was created. The same kind of information has been collected throughout our history but the way in which it is recorded may change.

Matriculation records are a good example. The first lists of students attending the university can be identified because their names were written into a bound volume by a scribe using a quill pen. A hundred years later the students were signing their own names into a register as they each took the oath at matriculation. The class slips of the 20th century can give details of name, address, date of birth, school education, bursaries and awards and year of study. This series became computerised in the 1970s with individual matriculation schedules being printed and then completed by student and academic tutor. Now the whole process is done online and the record is electronic.

Whatever the physical nature of the analogue record, we preserve it in Muniments and make it available. Extra help can be given to interpret the handwriting and vocabulary of the Latin, Scots and English used in older documents.

Non-digital material identified within the University as being of historical value and worthy of archival retention can be transferred to Muniments for permanent preservation.

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.