Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section

Manuscripts Catalogue available on-line

Our catalogue is now available on the City of London's internet pages (Address: The catalogue lists items available in all of the City's lending and reference libraries, not only in Guildhall Library’s Manuscripts Section.

AUTHOR SEARCH: You can search for a collection, or for references to a particular person or organisation, by clicking on the "Author" button from the search menu and typing in the name of a person or organisation. This will present you with a list of names. Click on the name you seek and this will present you with a list of brief descriptions in alphabetical order, with the introductory note for the collection at the top of the list.

Select the relevant brief description and click on the information in the box marked "Title". You will then see boxes marked "Location" and "Shelfmark". Click on "Shelfmark" for details of individual volumes in the series, if any. You can consult the full catalogue description of the item by selecting "Title details" at the foot of each entry. To return to the list of brief descriptions, click on "References list" at the foot of the entry.

Please make a note of the relevant manuscript number(s) with any volume or bundle numbers and noting any message saying "24 hours notice required for access". The manuscript numbers and volume numbers will be needed when ordering documents in the Manuscripts Reading Room or, for 24 hours notice material only, if ordering in advance. Please also note any other messages, particularly those saying "Restricted Access: enquire at manuscripts desk" and "Access subject to special conditions". Contact us for further advice about any items with messages attached.

It can be difficult to find a name on the catalogue as forms of name have been established which may not be the most obvious one. If unsuccessful be prepared to try a few different searches, e.g. Borneo Company rather than Borneo Company Ltd. Individuals are entered surname first. However, if their name is that of a company the first name or initials will precede the surname.

CLASSIFICATION SEARCH: If you already know the Manuscript number, you can search by selecting the 'Classification' button on the search menu and typing 'Ms xxxxx' into the search field. [NB: you must have 5 digits in the Manuscript number so remember to add leading zeros if necessary.] This will present you with a list of brief descriptions for each manuscript.

Select the relevant brief description and proceed as above.

KEYWORD SEARCH: If you wish to make a more speculative search, or search for a place name or subject, you can search using the ‘Keyword’ button on the search menu. This will present you with a list of brief descriptions for catalogue entries which contain the word(s) for which you have searched. Select a description which interests you and proceed as above. [NB: You can further refine keyword searches – see the catalogue for details].

If you have any difficulties consulting the catalogue or require further information please contact the Manuscripts Section [].

Last updated April 2006


Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section