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The vast majority of Special Collections printed books can be found using Library Search, having been the subject of a major retro-conversion project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) in the 1990s.

Readers should note that, while the majority of Special Collections printed books are recorded in the 'Special Collections' part of the computer catalogue, some discrete collections and recently-acquired materials are available in the 'Main' catalogue. The 'Main' catalogue includes all Special Collections material.

There are also numerous published and unpublished finding aids to the Library's manuscript and archival collections.

Many archive catalogues have been produced in computerized form since the mid 1990s. These are now available on-line via ELGAR (Electronic Gateway to Archives at the Rylands), the Rylands 'Spoke' of the Archives Hub.

The majority of the manuscript and archive finding aids have also been reproduced on microfiche in the National Inventory of Documentary Sources in the United Kingdom and Ireland, copies of which are available in a number of major research libraries across the world.