James Madison University
Libraries & Educational Technologies

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What is a Manuscript Collection?

Most of the manuscript collections pertain to the central Shenandoah Valley, VA, especially Shenandoah, Page, Rockingham, and Augusta Counties. These unpublished materials include personal letters and diaries; legal forms such as deeds, wills, surveys, patents, indentures, road agreements, tax receipts, licenses, and military discharges; business ledgers and daybooks; political correspondences; and minutes and scrapbooks of organizations.

How is a LEO catalog record for a manuscript collection different from a finding aid on the Special Collections Website?

Every collection that is available for use has a finding aid.  A finding aid is not a catalog record.  It a descriptive inventory of a collection that will help you understand the materials, including the size of the collection, its arrangement, and any restrictions on use.  For large collections, a detailed contents list is included.

Most collections, but not all, also have catalog records in LEO, Carrier Library's online catalog.  They have extensive subject headings, which might help you narrow or widen your search.  Catalog records also link to the finding aid on the SC website, which will help you determine exactly which box or folder contains the information you need to see.

 [Return to Manuscripts Page]



James Madison University Libraries & Educational Technologies