Threads of Empire: Rule & Resistance in Colonial India

Seventy years after India gained independence, our latest exhibition reveals the acts of resistance that shaped the British Empire in India. From 13th April, the Weston Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts will host an exhibition showcasing the history of tense negotiation, resistance and rebellion that lay behind the emergence of India as the ‘Jewel in the …

Discovering John Achard

This is a guest post by UoN student Megan Shore about her CLAS student placement at Manuscripts and Special Collections in March-July 2016. I did a work placement in Manuscripts and Special Collections in the last semester of my final year. I heard about the placement from the employability team in the School of Cultures …

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, …

The Morning After the Nay Before

For anyone who has somehow missed the extensive – and sometimes heated – campaign, this morning the results of the Scottish Independence Referendum were announced. The Union between Scotland and England has been in force since May 1707, after both the Scottish and English Parliaments had passed their own separate Acts ratifying the Treaty of Union. …

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 …

Feeling under the weather? Try frog’s liver, peacock dung and just a dash of dead man’s skull

The above items all form part of a medical recipe contained in a 17th century volume belonging to the Duke of Newcastle. Many family and estate collections contain medical receipt books, in which recipes and instructions for the treatment of various maladies are carefully preserved for future generations. In an age before the widespread provision …

New leaflet about the Portland Collection

A new free leaflet is available to those who want more information about the University’s Portland Collection. This joins a series of guides produced in recent years to describe major collections or subject areas. The leaflet highlights some of the strengths of the Collection for political, diplomatic, literary and cultural history, and its relevance to local …