Silence

The grumpy 13th century scribe who couldn’t help but open his story by reminding his audience how underpaid and underappreciated the arts (especially storytellers) are would probably despair if he had known similar complaints would still be expressed in the 21st century. He wrote seven centuries ago, but his tale was set seven centuries before …

Remembering Hans

Today, 4 August, marks the 143rd anniversary of the death of Hans Christian Andersen, the prolific Danish author best remembered for his fairy stories, including The Little Mermaid, The Little Match Girl and The Ugly Duckling. Andersen was born in 1805, the only child of poor and uneducated parents who told him the family rumour …

‘Wish You Were Here!’ Picture Postcards: The Wrench Series

Guest post by Abigail Cobley, Document Production Assistant at Manuscripts & Special Collections. Picture postcards offer a unique and fascinating insight into social history. Much can be gained about life in the past from studying postcards showing street scenes, holiday destinations, military events, and artistic watercolour prints (to name but a few). In the 21st …

Women’s Suffrage in the D H Lawrence Collection

One hundred years after the ‘Representation of the People Act’, which awarded the vote to women over the age of 30 who owned property, it seems like a good time to rediscover some gems from the archives that provide intimate snapshots of the fight for the vote. Louisa ‘Louie’ Burrows, a friend and onetime fiancée …

Happy Birthday, NHS!

On 5th July 1948 the Secretary for Health Aneurin Bevan officially launched an ambitious new service: the National Health Service. At its core were three principles: That it meet the needs of everyone That it be free at the point of delivery That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay At the …

Mum’s gone to Iceland

Famous for its harsh landscapes and heroic sagas, Iceland was a source of endless fascination for 19th century travellers. Many were sent on geological, botanical or other scientific expeditions. Ida Pfeiffer was different. Born in Vienna in 1797, she was bitten by the travel bug aged 5 when she accompanied her parents to Palestine and Egypt. Her father …

Student society archives: the SNoGS time capsule

We are continuing with our mission to collect material that reflects contemporary experiences of student life, and you may have seen us at Welcome Fairs pestering student societies to dig out the papers, photographs, posters and flyers that tend to get passed down from committee member to committee member. If you are a society officer …

Kate Greenaway’s Album

In 1879, Kate Greenaway’s first book ‘Under the Window’ was published to immediate commercial and critical success. Her drawings of cherubic children in smock-frocks and bonnets playing in sunny English gardens have continued to charm audiences for 140 years and she remains one of the most popular and influential children’s illustrators. Originally she began her …

Work placement with Manuscripts and Special Collections: the Stephen Lowe papers

This is a guest post by Georgia Cannon, second year undergraduate music student. As part of my Music degree, I chose to do a work placement module. I never realised there would have been an opportunity for working at Manuscripts and Special Collections, but I put it as my first choice knowing it would be …

From Rags to Witches: the grim tale of children’s stories

Once upon a time, fairy tales were not for children – and some were even banned by the church as a threat to faith or morality. Using original archives and rare books from the University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts & Special Collections, From Rags to Witches: the Grim Tale of Children’s Stories will explore a range …