Ken Loach, Ken Coates and the European Union

In researching his 2016 British Academy award winning film ‘I, Daniel Blake’, director Ken Loach visited the St Ann’s Advice Centre in Nottingham (a community organisation offering advice on welfare benefits, employment and debt). Back in October 1966, two tutors of the University of Nottingham’s Adult Education Department, Ken Coates and Bill Silburn, had conducted …

A new view: changes to our Manuscripts Online Catalogue

After ten years of faithful service, our Manuscripts Online Catalogue has had a facelift. Our new CalmView website, like our old catalogue, allows users to search over 250,000 records describing our rich manuscript and archive collections. However, beyond a cosmetic refresh, the launch of CalmView has allowed us to bring thousands of records relating to …

The Countess, the Castle and the Captain

An interesting collection of documents has recently been catalogued and made fully available to researchers. The Bentinck family, Counts of the Holy Roman Empire, were cousins of the Dukes of Portland (see their family tree) The first Count, William Bentinck (1704-1774), inherited the Dutch lordships of Rhoon and Pendrecht. In 1733 he married Charlotte Sophie, …

Finding your Family

Within the 4 million documents held in Manuscripts and Special Collections are the names of hundreds of thousands of people from Nottinghamshire and the broader East Midlands. Catalogues can never list every person named in documents, so one of the major challenges of family history research is finding which records may refer to your ancestors. …

Family inheritance on display

We were delighted to welcome Sir Andrew Buchanan, 5th Baronet, and his son George Buchanan to Manuscripts and Special Collections last week, on Mark Dorrington’s first day as the new Keeper of the Manuscripts at The University of Nottingham. Over the years the Buchanan family have deposited several significant collections of papers created by ancestors …

Papers of a ‘Professional Revolutionary’

The next exhibition at Lakeside Arts Centre’s Weston Gallery features the papers of a local activist and Communist Party officer, Fred Westacott. Flyers, pamphlets and speeches in his personal archive document a lifetime of campaigning, as a supporter of a variety of local and international causes, from the Miners’ strikes to the Vietnam War protests. …

“Will you come into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly,

‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy;  So begins the famous children’s poem, ‘The Spider and the Fly’. This is just one of the many poems and stories written by the celebrated Victorian author Mary Howitt whose collection of family correspondence is held in Manuscripts and Special Collections. The Howitts certainly encountered …