University of Aberdeen Library catalogue
Manuscript & Archive Collections
The University of Aberdeen is a 15th-century foundation, with King’s College established in 1495, Marischal College in 1593, and the University formed in 1860 from their fusion. Collectively, their archives constitute a rich source for the history of higher education in Scotland and Europe, and illuminate the relationship between the University and the City and, indeed, the region.
It is one of only five institutions of higher education in the English-speaking world to have experienced fully the period from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment. This antiquity is reflected in the Archives which include: a fine collection of medieval and early modern manuscripts; outstanding 17th – 19th century collections relating to science, medicine, Scottish Enlightenment philosophy, and Jacobitism; as well as an important collection of oriental manuscripts, papyri and ostraca.
Moreover, until the 1970s, the University was the main repository for archival collections for the northern half of Scotland. As a result, it has acquired an unrivalled collection of written material relating to the history and culture of the North-East of Scotland. These diverse collections include the records of families, estates, churches, institutions and businesses, as well as the literary, academic and antiquarian papers of individuals. Additions continue to be made to collections where they complement the Archives collection policy.
Finding Aids and Catalogues
Printed catalogues of our medieval manuscripts and collections of papyri and ostraca are also available. See:
Many of the early records of King's and Marischal Colleges, along with lists of alumni and graduates, have been published. For information on the early archives see: