Rain Rain Go Away!

One of the main topics of conversation over the last week or so has been the truly atrocious weather, and even as I type this the raindrops are pattering against the office windows. This is in stark contrast to last year’s heatwave, which officially began on the 22nd June and lasted until the 7th August …

In Sickness and Incest

On the 9th June 1732, Edward Robinson and Martha Robinson of Heanor were married in St Alkmund’s, the 12th century parish church of Duffield in south Derbyshire. At the time, the happy couple were living 18 miles away in Beeston, a few miles from Nottingham city. Perhaps they married there because Martha was originally a …

The Bigger Picture

This is a guest post by Anjali, an Politics and Economics student, written as part of the Nottingham Advantage Award run by the Careers and Employability Service. Culture and heritage forms a big part of an individual’s identity. As an individual who is a young British Indian woman, living in a world where a person such …

Spooky Scary Skeletons

Guest post by Anja Rohde, Library Assistant. On Wednesday 27th January 1943 Nottingham students awoke to an unusual sight – a skeleton was suspended from the clock tower of the Trent Building. This was ‘Mrs Criker’, one of the mascots of Goldsmiths College, London, and it had been kidnapped by Nottingham students. At the start …

Schooling in the Third Reich

This is a guest post by student placement Vanessa. Manuscripts and Special Collections is a section of the University of Nottingham Libraries located on the University’s King’s Meadow Campus. The archive holds over 3 ½ million original and unique documents in over 700 manuscript and archives collections, dating from the 12th to the 21st century, …

Censorship and Banned Books

An auction house in Derbyshire is selling a rare 19th century edition of ‘Fanny Hill – Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure’ by John Cleland, which was banned not long after its publication in 1748. It’s the story of an orphaned girl who goes to London looking for domestic work and instead ends up working …

Family Hair-looms

Does anyone care for a short story about death, documents and hair? Back in November, we tweeted this story with the theme of #HairyArchives as part of Explore Your Archives week. It proved quite popular, so we’re re-telling a version of it here for those of you who missed it. Usually, we take advantage of the …

Cheers to Nottinghamshire’s Pubs!

It’s almost that time of year when people eat, drink and make merry. Public Houses, taverns and inns have been at the centre of English community life for hundreds of years. Their origin can be traced back to Roman Britain, when places to seek rest and refreshment were established along the network of Roman roads. …

By the pricking of my thumbs Something wicked this way comes

The Witchcraft Act of 1735 brought an end to the legal acceptance that magic and witchcraft were genuine. It became a crime to claim magical or supernatural powers, with a maximum penalty of a year’s imprisonment. Instead, witches, cunning folk and wise men were viewed as fraudsters conning the desperate and the naïve. This complete …

The Night Nottingham Castle Burned

On the evening of Monday 10 October 1831, people gathered by the banks of the River Leen to watch the spectacular sight of Nottingham Castle, ablaze, sparks flying. The scene was captured by artist Thomas Allom and engraved by R. Sands. The mounted print, 25cm by 31cm in size, shows a pair of men dancing …