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Library Language - what does it mean?: M-O

A guide to terms, jargon and vocabulary you may encounter using the University Library services and resources



Documents or papers which were written by hand. Usually used to mean handwritten documents or papers which were written in the past and have been preserved permanently for their historical or research value. The Library's Manuscript collections are held in Special Collections on Level 1 of the Robinson Library.

Microfilm, microfiche & microform
Microforms are printed documents that have been photographed, reduced in size and printed onto film. They are used as a compact way to store documentation which is not heavily used.

  • Microfiche is in the form of small sheets of film.
  • Microfilm is a long roll of film.

To read microforms you need to use a microform reader. Microform readers can be found in the Microform Research Room on Level 3 of the Robinson Library.
See: Microform Research Room.

Microform Research Room
The room which Library members can use to read and print out works on microfilm and microfiche. Located on Level 3 of the Robinson Library.

Ask at the Level 3 information desk for advice on how to use one of the machines.
See: Microfiche, microfilm and microform.

A book.


Next Day Loan
Library books which are due back by closing time the next day. They have a large overdue charge if returned late.


Another name for the Library catalogue. OPAC stands for "Online Public Access Catalogue" and refers to the Library catalogue terminals that you will find in the Library.

Overdue charge
A sum of money charged for the late return of a Library item.

Used to describe a large item which is too large to fit on the ordinary shelves.