Muniment collection: Introduction

St Andrews is Scotland's oldest University, founded between 1410 and 1413. It has a particularly fine archive whose official name is the 'muniment collection'. Here you will find information about the activity of the University from its earliest days. It is the key source for our history and represents our corporate memory.

It is a living collection, the most recent additions being digital material no longer needed for day-to-day administration, which should be kept for posterity. The form in which the record is held varies according to historical period and the purpose for which it was created. We hold sealed parchment documents through to pdfs and databases.

The archive contains a huge range of material dating from 1215, including title deeds, minutes, accounts, matriculation and graduation records, staff and student records, maps and plans, photographs, correspondence and administrative files. You'll find documents written in Latin, French and Scots as well as in English – indeed, Latin was the normal language of administration and teaching until the mid-18th century.

The muniments are grouped according to the part of the institution that created them and each section is listed separately. There are records which relate to the whole University, and records which were created by the Colleges, which were part of the University in earlier days.

The archive is consulted for many different research purposes: it is a rich source for social, local, national and biographical history. Some parts of the collection have been transcribed and published. The records have been used to tell the story of the University's past, most recently as part of the 600th anniversary celebrations.

To discover what we hold search our online catalogue. However please note only part of our collection catalogues are currently available online. We are working to add hard-copy catalogues to the online version. If you can't find what you’re looking for, or need help please contact us.