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 …

Looking back to get ahead: Volunteering at Manuscripts and Special Collections

This is a guest post by third-year American Studies and History student Bron Bury. Your future As a student, regardless of what stage you are at in your degree, making an conscious effort to look beyond your time in education is key in maximising your future opportunities . You may have a vague idea of …

A General History of Elections

From online voter registration to fixed Parliamentary terms, this General Election has seen a few ‘firsts’. In this post, we take a very quick tour of elections through the ages. A dull campaign? The art of eye-catching election addresses – the leaflets prospective parliamentary candidates send to people in the constituency – took a while …

What’s in a name?

It was Zsa Zsa Gabor who said “I call everyone ‘darling’ because I can’t remember their names”. Perhaps she had never been introduced to people blessed (or cursed?) with creative, unique or downright strange names. Here, in chronological order, are fifteen genuine examples of people’s names taken from the manuscripts that we have come across: Original Steele, of …

China’s Photograph Fever

In recent years, there has been a surge of interest in exploring China’s history. During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the Red Army obliterated much of the country’s heritage, including photographs. Keeping archives was a subversive act; it became dangerous even for people to be caught with their own family albums. Huge quantities of …