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British Historical Manuscripts

A navigational guide to the core British history collections.

Hastings Collection: ca. 50,000 pieces, ca. 1100-1892

For over four hundred years, the Hastings family (variously barons Hastings, Botreaux, Hungerford, Loughborough and Moleyns, earls of Huntingdon, Pembroke and Moira, and marquesses of Hastings) played a significant role in English political life and exercised vast local influence in Leicestershire and other English counties. The Hastings family members were active in Parliament and at Court and acted as Lords Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Rutland and Warwickshire. The Hastings collection contains accounts, deeds, rental records, legal papers, court records, household books, inventories and catalogs of family papers, estate and manorial papers, and correspondence relating to the estates, personal and financial affairs of the Hastings family. Most of the materials deal with national and local politics during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I, as well as the English Civil War (1641-1649), Protectorate, Restoration, and the American Revolution.  

Organization & Access

Research Tools:

  • “Guide to British Historical Manuscripts in The Huntington Library” (pages 78-144) provides a detailed summary of the contents of each of the series. The Guide is available online through the HathiTrust Digital Library.
  • Access the finding aid for this collection via Summon Discovery. This particular finding aid is a digitized hand-list, available as a downloadable PDF file. It contains item-level listings of most, but not all, of the series within this collection.
  •  The correspondence for the Hastings collection is cataloged at an item level:
    • A complete list (up to 1828) is available in the Harvester microform guide “The Hastings Collection of Manuscripts from the Huntington Library in California,” available online through the HathiTrust Digital Library. The microfilmed correspondence is available for use on-site at The Huntington Library, and can be requested via Interlibrary Loan.
  • A card index of places and principal names for The Hastings Deeds series is available on-site. Current readers may retrieve the card index through Aeon. Remote researchers should contact the library.

How-to Request:

  • All Hastings manuscript materials must be paged manually through Aeon. Learn how to request materials without library catalog records.
  •  The collection’s call number prefix is HA. Refer to the finding aid for the call number for each subseries (e.g., HAF is the Hastings Accounts and Financial series). Learn how to find manuscripts in the library catalog.

Other Resources:

  • Over the decades, The Huntington has acquired other single items related to the Hastings collection. These items are not described as part of the Hastings collection and are discoverable as individual items in Summon Discovery and the manuscript card catalog.
  • Learn about related digital resources on our Additional Resources page.

Related Medieval Manuscripts

Alchemical, medical and technical compilation: [manuscript], 15th-16th centuries
Consisting of parts of several manuscripts of separate origin, but by now impossible to distinguish precisely one from the other, brought together in the late 15th century.
Call number: mssHU 1051

N.B. This item is restricted and require prior curatorial approval for use on-site. Contact the library for additional information.