The Curious Case of Benjamin Cockayne

By October 1719, Churchwardens Stephen Turpin and John Pimm had had enough of Benjamin Cockayne, the bad boy of Bramcote. For seven years, they had watched with increasing concern his immoral lifestyle, his drunkenness, and his routine abuse of his neighbours. They brought a case against Cockayne to the ecclesiastical authorities and there was no shortage …

Looking back to get ahead: Volunteering at Manuscripts and Special Collections

This is a guest post by third-year American Studies and History student Bron Bury. Your future As a student, regardless of what stage you are at in your degree, making an conscious effort to look beyond your time in education is key in maximising your future opportunities . You may have a vague idea of …

Medieval Christmas Mass

It’s entirely possible that the clerk who ripped the pages out of the 15th book of Roman Catholic liturgical music was just old enough to have attended church services in pre-Reformation England, but in truth we don’t know. These parchment leaves, MS 12/6-7, contain parts of masses for Christmas Day and the Feast of St Stephen …

Ballads at KMC

This is a guest post by Clare Clarke, a former volunteer librarian. As a volunteer I have had the privilege to work with a range of fascinating collections, including material from the French Revolution, Fred Westacott pamphlets and works on or by D.H. Lawrence donated by the family of Emile Delavenay, a French academic. My …

Getting Political with the Archives

“Books have to be heavy because the whole world’s inside them.” ― Cornelia Funke, Inkheart This is a guest post by student placement Lizzie Fenwick, School of Politics and International Relations. Prior to signing up for a placement here, I was one of many students on campus who were not really aware that the University …

Between the Covers: Books and Booksellers

The trade in books grew from the system of barter between monasteries and the fledgling Universities, which in the Middle Ages were the two primary producers and consumers of books. In England, early booksellers were called Stationers, after their stalls (or stations), working from a fixed location, as opposed to being itinerant sellers. When the …

Anne Vaux: recusant!

If you’ve been watching the BBC drama Gunpowder, you will be aware of the historical character Anne Vaux, played by Liv Tyler. Anne was unmarried and wealthy, and fiercely devoted to Roman Catholicism, at a time when Catholics were being persecuted for their faith. According to her biographies in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography …

Smallpox

It has wiped out armies, killed Kings and Pharaohs, and devastated civilisations for at least 3000 (and possibly up to 10,000) years, yet the first written records mentioning smallpox only date back to 4th century China. Trade links and the expansion of empires probably brought the disease to Europe in the 7th century, and Europeans …

Mind the Gaps

The search for student publications; a blog by Nicholas Blake, Library Assistant with Manuscripts and Special Collections. It’s tempting to think that students these days rely solely on the Internet and social media to disseminate information, Whatsapping, Snapchatting and Instagramming all the important news and gossip about their University lives. Yet print still has prestige, …

Notable Nottingham Alumni: Raja Azlan Shah

As the University of Nottingham prepares to welcome thousands of students for the new academic year, we look back at some notable alumni, starting with the King of Malaysia, Azlan Shah. Azlan Shah was born on 19th April 1928 in Perak, the 4th-largest state in Malaysia. He was the second son of Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin …