The Catalogue contains descriptions of the archive collections that we hold. These include the institutional archives of the University of Leicester, as well as the papers of Joe Orton, Sue Townsend and David Campton. There is an A-Z list of all the collections here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/library/find/specialcollections/az/a-z-of-collections and they are listed by theme here: https://www2.le.ac.uk/library/find/specialcollections/c-themes. The different "fonds" or collections may have entries which are broad descriptions of an entire collection, while others describe each individual part of a collection and the different sections they have been arranged into.

In the past, archive collections were catalogued on a wide variety of different platforms and to different standards and levels of detail. Work is now underway to standardise the existing catalogues and to make these more accessible to everyone who wishes to use our collections. Fields you will commonly see displayed are:

Level: this tells you the level of the item being described: from "fonds" (collection) down through section, series, file and item - from larger to smaller units. Usually, only item level descriptions refer to physical items, the other terms reflect the groups the collection has been sorted into. A "fonds" or collection may fit into one box, or comprise many hundreds of items.

Document Reference: the reference you should quote to archive staff when ordering documents, and when citing documents. Click the Document Reference / Doc Ref No field to see an individual record page from the hit list, and then again on the individual record page, to see the record in the hierarchy of the collection. (The hierarchy of the collection is built by a Ref. No. field which you may occasionally see, but don't need to use - please note and quote the Document Reference instead!).

Acc no: accession number - this is a running number for each year generated when new material is given to the archives, to keep track of it as a whole. When cataloguing is done, each item is given a unique, individual reference (the Document Reference).

Title: Brief description of the item, or a series or section of records, or the whole collection.

Description: This may go into more detail than the title, if required.

Extent: this tells you the size of the item or section of the collection you are looking at and may vary from 1 document / photograph etc, to hundreds of boxes. It is usually only possible to order documents for inspection in our reading room at item and file levels.


Not all of our archive catalogue records are included in the Archives Catalogue and not all of our collections have been catalogued. We will be adding new catalogue records regularly, so please check for updates or ask us if a collection you are interested in is not included on the catalogue: email specialcollections@le.ac.uk.
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