The Life of a Communist: My placement working on the political papers of Fred Westacott

This is a guest post by second-year History and Politics student Niamh Southwell The ideas of Communism have always been a landmark moment in the study of political theory, however apart from the major leaders in these areas, often the effort of local champions for the cause are dismissed. Luckily for me, I had the chance …

Putting Creative Writing Back On The Syllabus

This is a guest post by second-year English student Bertie Beeching. “The Manuscripts and Special Collections archive,” I recalled reading to myself when scanning through placement opportunities. A small and contemptuous part of my brain made me envision a small, dark room filled with filing cabinets. You can imagine, then, how overwhelming it was to …

Mind the Gaps

The search for student publications; a blog by Nicholas Blake, Library Assistant with Manuscripts and Special Collections. It’s tempting to think that students these days rely solely on the Internet and social media to disseminate information, Whatsapping, Snapchatting and Instagramming all the important news and gossip about their University lives. Yet print still has prestige, …

Notable Nottingham Alumni: Raja Azlan Shah

As the University of Nottingham prepares to welcome thousands of students for the new academic year, we look back at some notable alumni, starting with the King of Malaysia, Azlan Shah. Azlan Shah was born on 19th April 1928 in Perak, the 4th-largest state in Malaysia. He was the second son of Sultan Yussuf Izzuddin …

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 …

The Bachelors’ Balls

If a single man in possession of a good fortune was in want of a wife in late nineteenth century Nottingham, he rectified the situation by joining a committee and paying to host a ball to meet eligible young ladies. This volume (MS 243: Minute book of the Bachelors’ Ball, Nottingham, 1908-1928) is the sole surviving …

Manuscripts & Special Collections Achieves National Accreditation

The New Year is off to a good start for Manuscripts and Special Collections, which is delighted to have been awarded Archive Service Accreditation by The National Archives. Mark Dorrington, Keeper of Manuscripts & Special Collections, explains what this means.     Accreditation is the UK quality standard which recognises good performance in all areas of archive …

Happy birthday KMC!

Happy 10th birthday to us! Ten years ago today, the Reading Room at The University of Nottingham’s then-newest campus at King’s Meadow welcomed its first visitors. The Basement     Since 1973, Manuscripts & Special Collections had been based in the lower level of Hallward Library on University Park Campus. The lack of space had been a …

Colin Wilson Conference

On Friday 1 July, 60 researchers, fans and family members of the late Colin Wilson travelled to KMC to attend the 1st International Colin Wilson Conference. It was a truly an international affair, as delegates had come from as far afield as America, Australia and even West Bridgford. The extensive archive of the Leicester-born novelist …

Top 10 Tips: Visiting Manuscripts & Special Collections (pt 2)

Exams are over; the next semester doesn’t start for several months; and the sun is shining (possibly). For final-year dissertation students and academics it can only mean one thing: it’s time to start planning summer research trips to the archive. Hopefully these Top Tips will help first-time visitors to Manuscripts & Special Collections, although some of …