July 1, 2015, by Kathryn Steenson
A Fresh Crop of Records
There has been a flurry of new documents, books and digital files arriving at Manuscripts & Special Collections these last few weeks (is it possible to have a flurry of digital files?). Here are just a few of the two dozen or so new acquisitions we have taken in since the start of the year.
Reaping the Agricultural Records
An archivist’s chance encounter with the chair of the Old Kingstonian Association at Sutton Bonington campus led to records and memorabilia of former students at the School of Agriculture and its forerunner the Midland Agricultural College being transferred here (Acc 2569). In amongst the four boxes of material are photographs, student notebooks, letters and details of past reunions organised by the OKA. Thank you to all the former staff and students who donate to the archives!
Missing Piece of the Jigsaw
For a number of years, we have held the first of a series of four journals written by Catherine Anderson Louisa Tisdall (1796-1882), recording a trip to the continent she made, accompanied by her brother James and mother, the Countess of Charleville. The journal (Ref: My 2175) spans 2nd July to 11th November 1820 and covers their journey through France, Switzerland, and Italy.
The volumes had become separated over the intervening 195 years, and the whereabouts of the other journals was unknown to us. To our delight, the second volume came up for sale, and we were able to purchase it. This journal (ACC 2602) continues from November 1820 until the summer of 1821. It describes their stay in Florence for the marriage of Catherine’s half brother, Charles William Bury, Lord Tullamore, to Harriet Beaujolais Campbell. Catherine recorded her opinions of the people and places visited, such as balls, art galleries, and social calls. She also recounts her stepfather’s illness during the trip and the medical treatment he received, the family’s concerns about the marriage, and current events such as the march of 5,000 Austrian troops on their way to Naples to put down an insurrection and the death of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Picturing the Past
These images are taken from one of the latest additions to our Special Collections of rare books relating to the East Midlands, Ratcliffe’s Views of Worksop, Mansfield and the Dukery (sic) (Ref:Not 1.D14 RAT). It was probably published in the early 1900s and features several of these images of everyday scenes in the area of Nottinghamshire known as The Dukeries, so called because it contained four ducal seats. It is a very short but rather sweet little book looking back to a bygone era, although judging from the population figures from the 1901 and 1911 censuses, the towns may not have been quite as empty and peaceful as this!
This book has already been catalogued and has been added to the online library catalogue. It will take us a little longer to process the archives, but eventually they too will be available in our Reading Room on King’s Meadow Campus. If you’re interested in visiting, or would like to donate/deposit records here, then please get in touch.
Manuscripts & Special Collections is one of 200 institutions that contribute to the National Accessions to Repositories register covering the UK and Ireland, and you can find out more about what’s new here.