July 1, 2014, by Kathryn Steenson

Maths, Myths and Mines: What’s New in Manuscripts & Special Collections

It’s a rare week that passes for Manuscripts & Special Collections without something new arriving. The new accessions range from a single book or manuscript, to a van-load of boxes. Some are gifts, others are deposited (i.e. loaned), and a small minority are books or manuscripts we have bought.

George Green Memorial Appeal leaflet, 1979

George Green Memorial Appeal leaflet, 1979

There is inevitably a delay between a collection arriving here and its description being published in one of the online library or manuscripts catalogues. That doesn’t mean that the material is completely inaccessible to readers. This is one of the reasons we recommend including brief details about your research when making an appointment to visit – we may be able to point you in the direction of more resources.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve added more than 30 new accessions to our holdings. Here are details of just a small sample of them:

The preparations for our forthcoming exhibition exploring mathematician George Green has prompted several offers of papers relating to his life and research, including another box from Professor Lawrie Challis (ACC 2492). The papers will be added to the collection Ref GG: Manuscripts, books and research papers associated with George Green (1793-1841) of Sneinton, Nottinghamshire, miller and mathematician; 1752-2002. The papers were created in the 1970s-2000s and relate to George Green and Green’s Mill, Sneinton. Professor Challis is a former Pro-Vice Chancellor and Emeritus Professor of Physics at The University of Nottingham, and played a major role in raising local awareness of George Green, the bicentenary celebrations and the restoration of the mill.


Log book of number of persons in Brinsley coal mine, 1892

Log book of number of persons in Brinsley coal mine, 1892

Another large accrual has come in for the Roundabout Theatre collection, c.1968-2013. This theatre-in-education company was set up in 1973 by Nottingham Playhouse to provide a programme of dramatic work with Nottinghamshire schools. The ten additional boxes include production photographs; administrative papers; background information on theatre in education; and press cuttings. Twentieth century theatre papers are a growing area of our holdings, including student and local theatre groups.

More records relating to Nottingham’s industrial heritage continue to come in, with one box of material relating to Brinsley Colliery, 1892-1930 (ACC 2476).  The Brinsley Colliery employed over 300 men at its peak but ceased production in 1930 when the coal was exhausted. Records include a log book of the number of persons in the coal mine from 1892 and a Stall Oddwork book dated 1929-1930. A handful of other records relating to the colliery can be found in the various Lawrence and Dukes of Newcastle (Clumber) collections on the online catalogue.

The collection of works by the late Colin Wilson, who died in 2013, continues to grow with the manuscript draft of a book that was published as ‘Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals’ in 2006. It is inscribed to and annotated by Ira Einhorn, whom Wilson met on a handful of occasions before Einhorn’s incarceration in a Pennsylvania prison for murder.  The Colin Wilson Collection contains 1500 books, articles, manuscripts, letters, photographs and assorted ephemera compiled by Wilson’s bibliographer Colin Stanley.

Draft of 'Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals' by Colin Wilson

Draft of ‘Atlantis and the Kingdom of the Neanderthals’ by Colin Wilson

Posted in Acquisitions