May 22, 2018, by Sarah Colborne

Student society archives: the SNoGS time capsule

We are continuing with our mission to collect material that reflects contemporary experiences of student life, and you may have seen us at Welcome Fairs pestering student societies to dig out the papers, photographs, posters and flyers that tend to get passed down from committee member to committee member. If you are a society officer and you had been wondering what you should do with these records, then look no further!

Flyers, merit badges and photos from the University of Nottingham Scout and Guide Society archive

A selection of items from the SNoGS Time Capsule

Manuscripts and Special Collections are here to provide a safe and secure home to material that is likely to be of long term historical interest; a home where student society records will be looked after alongside the official university records in our archive store. They will also be accessible in our reading room at Kings Meadow Campus so that future society members can come and visit, to get a sense of the activities their predecessors were involved in.

The other month we had a visit from the Society of Nottingham Guides and Scouts (SNoGS). I had met them at the last Welcome Fair, where they informed me of their desire to create a time capsule for their society. I successfully dissuaded them from burying it somewhere on campus (Estates weren’t keen on this idea either), and instead sent them one of our acid-free archival quality boxes to fill with the material they had collected at a recent anniversary celebration event. Their visit involved the ceremonial handing over of their time capsule, along with a tour of the store where it would be housed, and a display of other Scout/Guide/student society material already in our holdings.

Group of 5 students holding an archive box in the Reading Room

Members of the Society of Nottingham Guides and Scouts handing over their time capsule archive.

The time capsule turned out to contain correspondence from former members, a collection of photographs from previous camps and rallies (some of which had been helpfully labelled with names, places and dates), a selection of embroidered badges, a Nottingham Necker, and of course, a  couple of bent tent pegs. One of the most exciting elements might be the collection of information sheets designed to capture data on members’ fondest memories of being in the society and their personal plans for the future, as these will be very interesting for the society to revisit in subsequent decades. SNoGS were very enthusiastic about the idea of returning in future years to add to revisit their time capsule and to add more material to it. They have even amended their constitution to encourage the Publicity Officer to take responsibility for maintaining the archive and to pledge to visit at least once during their time in office.

The catalogue description for the SNoGS time capsule can be viewed in NUsearch and the manuscripts online catalogue:

Our Collecting Sharepoint has more information or do get in touch if you would like to deposit your society’s paper or born digital records (minutes, constitutions, flyers, posters, photographs, etc.):

Follow this blog to find out more about the archives of former students and to read about our contemporary collecting activities:

Find out more about Manuscripts and Special Collections at:

Time Capsule Blogs by Sarah Colborne, Archivist (Collections), Manuscripts and Special Collections

Posted in Time Capsule