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Welcome to first-time users

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Janus allows you to search and browse for information about a growing proportion of the archive and manuscript collections held throughout Cambridge. To find out whether archives are of interest to you, it is necessary to consult a catalogue or other finding aid. Janus allows you to search across catalogue descriptions of archives and manuscripts from institutions within Cambridge, and to arrange to see the actual documents with a few mouse clicks. The database is regularly updated, so re-visit often for newly included catalogues.

Please bear in mind that the Janus database does not include digital images of documents. Nor does it include full transcripts (copies) of the text or documents. The catalogue descriptions in the database will help you find archives, but they are not a substitute for the archives they describe. Contact details of contributing archive repositories are available from the Participating Institutions page and from your search/browse results, so that you can arrange to see or order copies of the documents you are interested in.

What are archives?

Archives are records produced by individuals, families, businesses or organisations during their existence. Archives may be in a variety of formats, including paper files, parchment documents, bound volumes, maps, plans, audio and video recordings, photographs, and computer discs. They are historical documents, but they are not necessarily very old, ranging in date from early centuries up to the present day. Archives are retained by their creators, or in record offices and other repositories, because of their abiding interest for researchers - interest which their original creators might never have expected.

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