November 19, 2013, by S Colborne
Celebrating archives everywhere: “A world without records is a world without memory”
This week sees the launch of a new campaign aiming to increase awareness of the essential role of archives in society. The campaign website for Explore Your Archive details forthcoming opportunities offered by archives all around the country to engage in a range of activities, from experiencing Downton Abbey for real, learning how to write in the Regency style, or exploring behind the scenes in archives such as the V&A.
Explorers of the archives here at Manuscripts and Special Collections have included Monty Don, who was researching his family history for the television series Who Do You Think You Are? He came to see a letter from his great-great grandfather the Rev. Charles Hodge, written in New Zealand in 1857. The letter (Wr C 355) was sent to the Rev. Hodge’s brother-in-law St George Kirke, a relative of Edward M. Wrench of Baslow, and describes the rough conditions of pioneer life that Charles and his family were experiencing near Christchurch. Edward M. Wrench kept a large family archive, including hundreds of letters, which was transferred to the University of Nottingham in the early 1960s. Other ways in which the archives here have contributed to media coverage, are detailed in one of our previous posts Manuscripts in the Media.
Someone who, from this week, will no doubt be busy exploring the archives here, is the new Keeper of the Manuscripts at The University of Nottingham. We would like to welcome Mark Dorrington, who joins us from Nottinghamshire Archives. Come and explore the archives for yourself by visiting our Reading Room or our extensive website. For more news and information about Manuscripts and Special Collections and our holdings, you can now follow us on Twitter @mssUniNott, or find out more about our exhibition programme at the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts Centre @mssLakeside.