The Cold War in the Cold Store

In the week before Christmas Manuscripts and Special Collections’ staff carried out an internal relocation of material and repackaging exercise that involved the entire section. To make this happen we decided to close the library to the public, freeing all staff to work in the library’s archival store. That week we donned warm layers and …

Georgian Delights

When King George IV died in June 1830, The Times asked, ‘What eye has wept for him? What heart has heaved one throb of unmercenary sorrow?’. George was a controversial figure throughout his lifetime (1762-1830). As Prince of Wales, after 1783, George became notorious for his frequent love affairs and lavish self-indulgence, spending wildly on …

Digital preservation of Students’ Union materials

As a collections archivist with Manuscripts and Special Collections (MSC), I work closely with people who donate their materials to the University to ensure that the right material is preserved. At the University we have an ongoing relationship with services and departments who have recognised the importance of passing records to the archive. We already …

The Witches of East Mids

Early Modern European society is notorious for its waves of enthusiastic witch-hunts. The causes have been debated by historians, but they were almost always a combination of religious, societal and economic upheaval and uncertainty. Powers commonly ascribed to witches include turning food inedible, flying, and making people and livestock ill and crops fail. Witches were …

MRI Collections Project draws to a successful close

The MRI Collections Project, which Manuscripts and Special Collections (MSC) has been working on for the last 12 months, ended on 30 September.  During this significant project, which was funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources award, MSC catalogued, preserved and selectively digitised the papers of the Nobel Prize winning physicist Professor Sir Peter Mansfield …

Meet our German manuscripts and Special Collections

Have you ever wondered what DIY books were available to borrow from an East German public library? Is the distribution of pigs in 1930s Germany a persistent niggling gap in your knowledge? Do you worry that when the 18th century dispute between the Houses of Hesse-Homburg and Hesse-Darmstadt comes up in casual conversation, you won’t …

Exhibition Fully Fashioned: Archival Remnants of the Textile Trade

Manuscripts and Special Collections’ latest exhibition entitled Fully Fashioned: Archival Remnants of the Textile Trade was officially opened by Professor Andy Long, Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The exhibition showcases the University of Nottingham’s business archives relating to lace and hosiery. Both of these industries were a major source of employment in the East Midlands and …

New Manvers catalogue describes Thoresby in the 20th century

Newly catalogued papers in the Manvers Collection extend the story of the Thoresby Estate into the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. One of the largest collections held by Manuscripts and Special Collections is the Manvers Collection (Ma). It contains a record of the Pierrepont family’s landed estates, based at Holme Pierrepont and Thoresby, from the mid-seventeenth …

The Canterbury Tales

Geoffrey Chaucer (1340s – 25 October 1400) is widely considered the greatest English poet and author of the Middle Ages. He played a significant role in legitimising the use of the Middle English vernacular in literary works in an age when many authors in England wrote in French and Latin. He died in 1400 and …

Look at our new Digital Gallery!

Around 1,500 digitised images from our collections are now available on the Manuscripts and Special Collections Digital Gallery. We have arranged the photographs, cartoons, portraits, maps, manuscripts, and pages from books into collections based on themes. These themes can be browsed from the front page of the Digital Gallery. Click the thumbnail to get to …