This page provides a list of collections and categories of items in our extensive archive, object, and library holdings to help you begin your research journey.

Please browse the A-Z to see descriptions of collections or categories beginning with a specific letter. You can also click ‘expand all’ to reveal all the current listings.

Please bear in mind that this resource does not yet include everything we hold. To explore all our holdings please use the online database pages where you will also find useful search tips. The A-Z is a work in progress. We welcome suggestions of categories and collections, which you think need to be included.

Each entry includes a short description, often with links to further resources or relevant database records. Where the material described connects to a named person or institution, you may also find a short biography or history. If specific items have been included in our Discover pages, these will appear at the base of the page. Click to see more images, detailed descriptions, and more.

Top tips for searching our collections

  • If you can’t find an entry but you think it should be listed, try searching under first names as well as surnames.
  • Sometimes several entries cover material on similar themes, so try hunting for similar names and words.
  • Don’t give up! If you can’t find what you are looking for, try our online database or get in touch. We love to help.

Learn about more ways of exploring The MERL collection on the searching our databases page.