November 11, 2011, by Andrew Burden

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 estates and communities as well as international affairs. It complements a series of webpages on the Portland Collection which link to our online catalogue.

 The core Collection consists of family papers from the Cavendish-Bentinck Dukes of Portland, from Welbeck, Nottinghamshire.  As an archive, it is divided into the papers of particular family members, and includes correspondence of the Cavendish, Holles and Harley families acquired through the marriage of the 2nd Duke to Lady Margaret Cavendish Harley in 1734. 

The current Weston Gallery exhibition The New State of England’? draws heavily on the papers of William Bentinck, the 1st Earl of Portland, whose service to William and Mary brought the Dutch Bentincks to live in England. Three lunchtime talks related to the exhibition have taken place, including one on the University’s Portland Collection.  On 1 December the subject of the final talk will be the related Portland papers held by Nottinghamshire Archives.

The exhibition has provided an opportunity to publicise more widely the strength of the entire Portland Collection, which achieved Designation status in 2005.  This award, from the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, recognizes the national pre-eminence of the Collection. 

Copies of the leaflet are available at the Weston Gallery and from the Reading Room for Manuscripts and Special Collections, or by post on request.




Posted in ExhibitionsPublicity