The manuscript section of the Special Collections & Archives collects, by definition, historical materials originating outside of the university. Manuscripts may be either personal or corporate. A manuscript collection may be comprised of the letters and journals of an individual or the correspondence, administrative files and financial records of a business, corporation or family. To get to our online manuscripts, click here.
Manuscripts are organized differently than books in a library. Instead of being arranged by subject they are grouped by the creator of the papers or records. For example, the manuscript section holds the Ruth Barrus collection and the Great Feeder Canal Company collection. Collections vary greatly in size and composition.
Each collection has a finding aid, called a register. The register contains an introduction, a biographical sketch or agency history, a scope and content note and an inventory of the collection.
Manuscript collections can be viewed in the reading room. After the researcher has determined that the Special Collections & Archives holds a collection that they are interested in the researcher can request a box from the collection. An employee will retrieve the box and bring it to the researcher in the reading room.