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University Libraries

Locating Literary Manuscripts

Online Resources

Archive Finder

A current directory of over 5,500 repositories and more than 161,000 collections of primary source material across the United States. Using Archive Finder, researchers are able to read descriptions of a repository's holdings to determine whether a collection contains material useful to their work as well as find the information they need to contact the repository directly.This directory integrates:  the entire collection of  the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC)  from 1959 to the present, including information gathered and indexed by the Library of Congress, covering more than 106,000 collections; names and detailed subject indexing of over 65,000 collections whose finding aids have been published separately in ProQuest UMI's microfiche series, National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United States (NIDS); and a growing number of more than 6,000 links to online finding aids.

ARCHON Directory
The ARCHON Directory includes contact details for record repositories in the United Kingdom and also for institutions elsewhere in the world which have substantial collections of manuscripts noted under the indexes to the National Register of Archives.

British Library Manuscript Collections

Great starting point for finding access to the catalogs, collections, services, and projects of the British Library's manuscript collections.

Dictionary of Literary Biography (DLB)

Outlines the lives and careers of writers from all eras and genres. Entries often include information on manuscripts, personal papers, letters and diaries.

Harry Ransom Center

The Center's collections contain 36 million leaves of manuscripts, one million rare books, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art, in addition to major holdings in theater arts and film.

Location Register of 20th-Century English Literary Manuscripts and Letters 

As a supplement to the Location Register of 20th-century English Literary Manuscripts and Letters originally published by the British Library in 1988, this database covers new accessions to British and Irish repositories from 1988 to 2003.

Manuscripts Online Catalogue 

Use this website to search the main catalogues of the British Library's collection of Western manuscripts, covering handwritten documents of all kinds from pre-Christian, Classical, medieval and modern times.

National Register of Archives (NRA)

The NRA contains information on the nature and location of manuscripts and historical records that relate to British history.

Repositories of Primary Sources
A listing of over 5000 websites describing holdings of manuscripts, archives, rare books, historical photographs, and other primary sources for the research scholar.

A mega-library catalog that includes records to manuscripts written as early as the 12th century. Search Tip: Click on Advanced Search, type your search terms in the search boxes, then limit your search to “archival materials.”

Print Resources

American Literary Manuscripts: A Checklist of Holdings in Academic, Historical, and Public Libraries, Museums, and Authors' Homes in the United States
Lockwood Book Collection Z6620.U5 M6 1977
A finding list of manuscripts including journals, diaries, correspondence, galley and page proofs, documents, audio and video recordings, books with marginalia and memorabilia held in the United States.

Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada
Lockwood Book Collection Z6620.U5 R5
A catalogue arranged alphabetically by states, cities, and libraries. Descriptions include probable date and place of origin, material on which written, size, number of leaves, binding, provenance, and reference to printed descriptions

Catalogue of Additions to the Manuscripts (in the British Museum). 1756-
Lockwood Book Collection Z6621 B842
Provides full descriptions of individual documents and summary descriptions of larger archives of the largest collection in the British Library Department of Manuscripts. See also Manuscripts Online Catalogue

Cambridge University Library: the Great Collections
Lockwood Book Collection Z792 .C18 C36 1998
An overview of the Library’s collection. Chapters illustrate the vast range of the library's collections from fourth century manuscripts to contemporary writers.

A Directory of Rare Book and Special Collections in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland
Lockwood Reference Z1029 D57 1997
A guide to the collections in public, national, academic, church and institutional libraries. Organized by country, county, city and institution, entries typically include address, telephone number, hours, requirement for admission, research facilities, and sometimes a brief history of the library.

Index of English Literary Manuscripts
Lockwood Reference Z 6611. L7 I5
A descriptive catalog of existing literary manuscripts by British and Irish writers between 1450 and 1900. The emphasis is on literary manuscripts, including author's typescripts, corrected proof sheets, diaries, and notebooks.

Location Register of Twentieth-Century English Literary Manuscripts and Letters Lockwood Reference Z6611. L7 L63 1988
Identifies manuscripts (including proofs, sound recordings, and electronic documents) by British writers, which are available for public consultation at libraries throughout the British Isles. Coverage is for 20th century authors, including those who died after December 31, 1899.

Medieval Manuscripts in British Libraries
Lockwood Book Collection Z6620.G7 K4
Lists of medieval manuscripts in British libraries.

Primary Sources for Victorian Studies: a Guide to the location and Use of Unpublished Materials
Lockwood Book Collection Z2019 .S76 
A list of Victorian archival resources.

Subject collections: A Guide to Special Book Collections and Subject Emphases as Reported by university, College, Public, and Special Libraries and Museums in the United States and Canada 
Lockwood Reference Z688.A2 A8 1993 
A guide to specialized collections in North American libraries and other institutions.