January 9, 2017, by Kathryn Steenson

Manuscripts & Special Collections Achieves National Accreditation

Archives Accreditation logo

The New Year is off to a good start for Manuscripts and Special Collections, which is delighted to have been awarded Archive Service Accreditation by The National Archives.

Mark Dorrington, Keeper of Manuscripts & Special Collections, explains what this means.



Accreditation is the UK quality standard which recognises good performance in all areas of archive service delivery. Accredited Archive Services ensure the long-term collection, preservation and accessibility of our archive heritage – some 3.5 million documents in over 700 collections spanning 800 years. Achieving accredited status demonstrates that The University of Nottingham has met clearly defined national standards relating to management and resourcing; the care of its unique collections, and what the service offers to its entire range of users.

Photograph of the Manuscripts and Special Collections strong room from the second floor looking down at rows of metal shelves holding boxes

Archives are kept at Kings Meadow Campus in a former television studio that has been adapted to provide special storage conditions.

The award marks the culmination of more than a year’s work and involved an 81 page application form and 23 supporting documents. It is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of the Manuscripts and Special Collections staff in looking after our wonderful collections and making them available for teaching, research and public enjoyment.

Three individual and one group of four researchers seated in the Reading Room

Researchers in the recently-refurbished Reading Room at King’s Meadow.

The Archive Service Accreditation Panel “… congratulated the service on their excellent sense of themselves in the context of the university and beyond, and on their detailed and comprehensive policies and planning which combined ambitious aims with practical objectives. The service demonstrated a commitment to review and improvement which was warmly commended, as was its ongoing commitment to communicate with a variety of audiences”.

Photo showing exhibition cases, interpretation boards on the walls and a frieze of sepia photos of landscapes

MSC’s purpose-built exhibition gallery at Lakeside Arts, University Park.

The award also provides us with an improvement plan for the future to ensure that we can continue to provide high quality archive services.

Manuscripts & Special Collections is based at King’s Meadow Campus and anyone can visit the Reading Room to view the archives, manuscripts, and rare books held here. The Weston Gallery at Lakeside Arts on University Park hosts three free exhibitions a year of material from our collections. For more information about our collections, services or events, please Manuscripts & Special Collections, please visit the website or contact us at mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk.

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