Manuscripts & Archival Materials
The Bell Library holds a variety of materials in manuscript form, dating from 400 C.E. to 1884 C.E.: charters, treaties, bills of lading, contracts, letters, memoranda, and notarial and other single documents; journals, diaries, memoires, and letterbooks; collections of family papers, business records, government records, and correspondence; memorandum and instruction books; commercial tables; travel accounts and other narratives; translations; medieval works such as a 15th-century Life of Mohammed, and a 13th-century copy of Speculum historiale.
Our manuscript and archival holdings are part of the University of Minnesota's online catalog and can be searched for by subject, title, author, and date.
To limit your search to the James Ford Bell Library's collection:
On the main screen, type in a keyword, which will bring you to a new screen. On this new screen, next to the search box, there is a link called: Advanced Search. Click this link. It will take you to a new screen. Above the search box will be a tab: Libraries Catalogs. Click this. It will open a new window. In the box at the right, you will see a search box with the title Search Scope. Click the arrow to the right of the text in the box and scroll down until you come to James Ford Bell Library. This will allow you to limit your search to the Bell Library's holdings.
Finding Aids to the Bell Archive Collections
Indexes, or finding aids, have been created for some of our large archival collections and they are available in the Library. One of these finding aids, for the Archive of Jesuits in Mexico and South America, is available online: http://discover.lib.umn.edu/findaid/
Finding aids for the Jesuits in China and the De Mey van Streefkirk Papers will be available online at the same address soon. This link, which also can be found on the Archives and Special Collections home page, takes you to all of the electronically encoded finding aids for the 11 units that comprise Archives and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries.
Illuminated capital from
Bartolomeus Anglicus' encyclopedia:
De proprietatibus rerum