Collected Words: From the Literary Collections at the University of Nottingham

In 2015 Nottingham became one of only 20 cities around the world to be recognised by UNESCO as a City of Literature – a reflection of the city’s unique literary heritage and creativity. From 8 September, the Weston Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts will host an exhibition showcasing material from the literary archives and collections of …

Scary Tales

In the words of her own grand-niece Rosalind Constable, Favell Lee Mortimer wrote “one of the most outspokenly sadistic children’s books ever written” [New Yorker, 1950 – subscription required], yet she topped the Victorian best-seller lists and was well-regarded as an educational author. Today is the 139th anniversary of her death, and the book referred …

Bound for Serampore

Visitors to the Weston Gallery are often prompted to share their personal connections to an exhibition. It’s always wonderful to see people engaged and to know that it’s made an impact in a way that visitor statistics can’t capture. The story one recent visitor shared about the Threads of Empire exhibition was not just his family’s …

A Trip Down Memory Lane

Have you ever been asked what period in time you would want to live in if you could time-travel? Ever answered with the Victorian period? If yes, then great you’ll like this blog. If not, then still read on because my blog is also about my placement at Manuscripts and Special Collections as a Cataloguing …

1977-2017: 40 years of the Queen’s Medical Centre

On 28th July 1977, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II opened The Queen’s Medical Centre, the first specifically-built teaching hospital in the UK. This marked her Silver Jubilee. Manuscripts and Special Collections holds a number of the hospital’s papers and photographs, including those relating to the opening event, which were acquired in October 2012. The University …

Portland Building: from the archives

Staff from Manuscripts and Special Collections look back on the original opening of the Portland Building and the reactions recorded at the time in the University archive and printed collections. Whilst browsing through issues of The Gong (the University magazine, which was founded in 1895 and ran until the 1970s), we chanced upon these drawings …

Doctoring Derbyshire

Dr Edward Wrench is so far best recognised for two reasons, firstly, his travel exploits to Europe and America, and secondly, from the earlier University of Nottingham blog post ‘Doctors, Diaries and Descendants’ which concentrated on his time in the Crimea and Indian Mutiny [some of his letters from India are currently on display in …

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 …

Veterinary Verse: The life and rhymes of Connie Ford

With a rich history of rebellion, Nottingham has spawned many world-class writers over the past few hundred years – from Byron to D.H. Lawrence and to Alan Sillitoe. However, the archives of Manuscripts and Special Collections hold the collection of one more rebel writer who can be added to Nottingham’s illustrious literary history: Connie Mae …

A Picture-Perfect Placement

Looking to get the most out of your university experience whilst learning invaluable employability skills and aiding the increasing accessibility of an expanding archive that has been around for nearly 90 years? I’m Amy Cooper, a third year English student that recently completed a placement at Manuscripts and Special Collections as a Digitisation Assistant. Here is …