But what do you do all day? Our Lockdown Diary

We closed the doors to our reading room at 5pm on Friday 20th March and since then all our members of staff have been working from home. Now, in the first of a series of blogs, we want to update you on what we’ve been working on whilst socially-distancing from our beloved archive and rare book …

Planning the Trent Building

Guest blog by Emelia Dengel and Oliver Lack, Geography undergraduates who completed a work placement at Manuscripts and Special Collections. For our placement at MSC we were tasked with cataloguing and repackaging a group of over 150 architectural and engineering plans of Trent Building dating from the 1920s to the 1990s. The Trent Building opened …

Florence and the 5th Duke

When Derbyshire’s own Florence Nightingale set out for the military hospitals of the Crimean War on 21st October 1854 she did so at the behest of another local figure, Henry Pelham Clinton, 5th Duke of Newcastle. As the owner of Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire the Duke was an important figure locally, but he also had …

Victory in Europe Day

Today is Victory in Europe Day, marking the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies in World War II. Adolf Hitler had committed suicide on 30 April once it became clear that Germany’s military forces were on the brink of collapse. He was succeeded by Karl Dönitz, formerly the Supreme Commander of …

Digital Collecting for the University Archives

Manuscripts and Special Collections may be working from home but we’re still busy developing and implementing our new digital preservation system, Preservica.  Preservica helps us to manage and preserve our existing born-digital collections as well as collect official university records for the archive in digital formats such as Microsoft Office files (such as meeting minutes), emails, video and photographs.   …

Dog Island

This is a guest post by Geography PhD student placement Robert Frost. My placement started in October 2019 with the aim of looking at the Engineers’ Files of the water drainage records in the University’s Manuscripts and Special Collections (MSC). These covered the predecessor bodies of the Severn Trent Water Authority, including the Trent Catchment …

Carry on Collecting: Tri Campus contemporary collecting during lockdown

Manuscripts and Special Collections (MSC) may be WFH and unable to access the collections in our manuscripts store, but we’re still busy improving our catalogues, promoting our resources, and we’re also still busy sourcing material to add to our archives. The University’s new digital preservation system allows us to manage and preserve digital items such …

Heirs and Spares: Succeeding George IV

This is a guest post by Dr Richard A Gaunt, academic curator of the exhibition Georgian Delights: Life during the reign of George IV 1820-1830. George IV spent most of his adult life waiting to be King. So accustomed have we become to this fact, and to the various machinations associated with his part in …

Live on Campus! – the 1970s

This guest blog was written by student placement Jessica Clarke, 2nd year Music. Jess trawled through our holdings of student newspapers, the Entertainments Committee minutes, and Students’ Union ephemera, to research bands and performers who played at the University of Nottingham.  The 1970s were a different time: almost no one had a computer, most music was played from vinyl and the internet was not yet available to the public. It …

Homage to the Arboreal World

Trees have long been of significant importance to the human species. Our relationship with trees began with their ability to satisfy neolithic needs such as shelter and nutrients, which progressively shifted towards trees’ later central contribution to the evolution of agriculture and machinery. Indeed, major socio-economic changes over the 15th to 18th Centuries saw the …