Manuscript and Print Studies

Manuscript and Print Studies


The Manuscript and Print Studies collections are a major research resource providing a comprehensive collection on the history of the book, texts and documents from the middle-ages to the present day.

The Palaeography and Manuscript Studies Collection specialises in manuscript facsimiles, catalogues of manuscripts, exhibition and auction catalogues, and research monographs devoted to the exposition and exploration of all aspects of manuscripts principally from the European Medieval and Renaissance periods written in Greek, Latin and Western European vernaculars. The comprehensive collection covers: palaeography and handwriting; diplomatic and sigillography; manuscript illuminations; codicology, manuscript production, scribes and illuminators; medieval book trade, manuscript readers and collectors, reading and literacy; history of medieval and renaissance libraries and collections; tradition and transmission of texts; care and modern cataloguing of manuscripts and archives; subject and location catalogues of manuscripts.

The Print Studies Collection covers the study of printed books, newspapers and periodicals in all their aspects in all major West European languages. It encompasses writing, printing, publishing, reading, collecting and the physical structure of books, newspapers and periodicals. Particular features are the history of printing, publishing and bookselling in Britain; catalogues and histories of libraries; history of reading; history of newspapers and periodicals; book illustration and binding. The growing body of works on information history and all aspects of digital publication is well represented. Holdings include publications from the 17th to the 21st centuries and are international in scope, particularly for the modern period.


  • Special Collections Reading Room, Sterling Library Reading Room, 4th floor.
  • Books on the history of newspapers are shelved on the 5th Floor.
  • Items with the location Stack Service can be requested via the fetch service and collected from the main service desk.
  • A browsing guide for the collections can be downloaded from this page.

Print periodicals

  • Recent issues of Manuscript periodicals are on display in the Special Collections Reading Room.  Recent issues of Print Studies periodicals are displayed in bays 51-52 in the Periodicals Room, 4th floor.
  • Most back issues of periodicals and some monographs are shelved in the stacks. These will display the location 'Stack Service' and can be requested from the catalogue via the fetch service.

Finding articles

You can search multiple journals and books at once using electronic resources such as the International Medieval Bibliography Online.


The Collection is complemented by an excellent range of Databases, which provide significant and rich digitised research material. View the Manuscript and Print Studies database list.

Related collections

  • Film and Media – for the history of newspapers and periodicals.
  • Language and Literature collections – English Studies, Western European Languages.
  • History.
  • Special Collections – including the Sterling Library with its private press holdings and early editions and History of the Book materials in the archives.  The collections include a number medieval manuscripts, collections of papers of Palaeographers including Francis Wormald and Julian T. Brown, publications of the Roxburghe Club and works on books, manuscripts ad palaeography printed before 1800.
  • Reference works: dictionaries, encyclopaedias and guides shelved in the Humanities Reference section, 5th floor.


Subject librarian

Tansy Barton