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 …

Mad Dogs & Englishmen

World Rabies Day takes place each year on September 28, the anniversary of the death of Louis Pasteur. Better known for developing the pasteurisation process, he was also involved with developing the first efficacious rabies vaccine. It’s not a disease that many people in the UK have reason to give much thought to, but roughly …

Reaping What You Sow

Autumn is harvest time, and there has been much in the news about how the heatwave of summer 2018 has affected arable farming. Wheat harvests came early, but salad crops suffered from the lack of water. We are better protected from food shortages and weather anomalies than our ancestors, but the weather still has a …

A Token of Childhood

Are the souls of your children of no value? Are you indifferent whether they be damned or saved? They are not too little to die…not too little to go to hell….not too little to go to heaven. And so begins James Janeway’s cheerful book, ‘A Token For Children: An Exact Account of the Conversion, Holy and …

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 …

‘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 …

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 …

Wish You Were Here

British Summer Time is here and the sun is shining – for the moment, anyway – and many people are looking forward to getting away for a short break over Easter, or a longer one in the summer. Prior to the twentieth century, holidays were the preserve of the upper classes. Overseas travel was prohibitively …