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Does the catalogue link to any records?
No, the catalogue only contains descriptions of the records. You will need to visit the Archive to see the items.

I have found records in the catalogue that I am interested in. How do I arrange to see the original?
For more information about our opening hours and access arrangements, please check our website.

How do I sort the records in the 'search results' hitlist?
You can sort the list of results according to the field of your choice by clicking on the column heading. By default, records are presented in Reference Number order. However, you can also sort records by Title or by Date.

How can I find out more information about an entry displayed in the 'search results' hitlist?
To view a full record description, click on any part of the record. If you then want to browse the record in its hierarchical context (i.e. how it relates to other records in the collection), click on Reference Number. Use the back button on your browser to return to the search results overview.

I am looking for a specific person and cannot find their name
Numerous names are contained in the records, including former staff, students and members of the University and its predecessors, but these are not generally catalogued to the level of detail for individuals to appear in the results hitlist.

People's names and place names may also vary in spelling and so you may need to try searching for alternative spellings in order to find all relevant records. When making a personal name search, you are advised to search only on surname.

You might also want to search our digitised Polytechnic Magazines which can be found online at

Why can't I find what I'm looking for?
Remember that the records are written in the language of their time and so they may not always use the terms we are used to, or necessarily comfortable with.

Searching the database will only find the exact words used in the catalogue, so if you haven't found what you wanted it's often best to try other related terms.

You can also try uses wildcard searches to find plurals e.g. olympi* will bring up all records that feature the word Olympic (e.g. Olympic Games), Olympics (e.g. London Olympics) or Olympiad (e.g. Ivth Olympiad).

Why can't I see images of the documents in the catalogue?
The catalogue contains written descriptions of the documents in our archive and not digitised images from the collection (except in a few instances). However, the 'Image Gallery' displays images forming our current online exhibition, and there are images in the 'What's New' section also.

In the 'What's New' and 'Image Gallery' sections, you can enlarge the images displayed by clicking on 'View Record', and then clicking on the image itself. When you have viewed the enlarged image, use the 'back' button on the web browser tool bar to return to the catalogue.

To enlarge any images displayed when viewing individual records, just click on the image. To return to the detail of that record, use the 'back' button on the web browser tool bar.

Can I request copies of records listed in the Archive catalogue?
We are unable to provide copies of records shown in the catalogue, but we do allow researchers who visit the Archive to use cameras.

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