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Posts by uazcmh

Discovering Iceland with the Benedikz Collection

The University of Nottingham may seem like an unlikely home for a treasure trove of Icelandic literature, but, nonetheless, in 1998 we welcomed the Benedikz collection: an assemblage of Old Icelandic sagas, poetry and travel books which greatly enhanced our pre-existing holdings of Norse, Icelandic and Viking literature. So, how did this remarkable acquisition come …

A Peek Behind the Iron Curtain

This is a guest post by Samantha Brinded, a volunteer at Manuscripts and Special Collections. Several months ago, upon expressing my interest in volunteering for the archives, I received an email inviting me to contribute to a project involving the School of Geography. The task would involve collating metadata for hundreds of slides, and subsequently …

Victorian Valentines

The link between St. Valentine’s Day and romance has existed at least since the later medieval period – but it was not until the latter half of the nineteenth century that one of its most iconic features emerged in its modern form: the Valentine’s Day card. Traditionally, Valentine’s Day had been associated with poetry – …

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Working with the Mining Collections

This is a guest post by Owen Coller, who volunteered at Manuscripts and Special Collections between October and November 2023, as part of the Nottingham Advantage Award scheme. As a humanities student, the opportunity to explore a collection of 19th and 20th century sources through the Nottingham Advantage Award was both a daunting and exciting …

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Politics Gets Personal

Diaries can make exceptionally rewarding reading: they are intensely subjective, inward-looking narratives, and yet can also provide a window onto times gone by, capturing everyday experiences and sudden cataclysms alike. This duality is perhaps captured nowhere so well as in the Diaries of the 4th Duke of Newcastle, which date between 1822 and 1850, and …

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Alisander’s Journey and Other Poems

This is a guest post by Gail Webb, who volunteered at Manuscripts and Special Collections between April and September 2023, cataloguing medicinal herbs and their uses in remedies from material held in our collections.  Alisander’s Journey A species named as Alexanders, known to the ancient Romans, grows green on clifftops, thrusts its way along roads, …

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Meet the Participants

Hatfield Chase, a low-lying marshland straddling Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, once teemed with wild birds, fish and deer – the pursuit of many a party on this royal hunting ground. However, by 1626, Charles I had drained the nation’s coffers and sought an innovative solution to his financial woes: employing another Charles (Vermuyden, a Dutch engineer) …

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Bloody Flux and the King’s Evil

This is a guest post by Jayne Muir, who volunteered at Manuscripts and Special Collections between April and September 2023, cataloguing medicinal herbs and their uses in remedies from material held in our collections.  The byways, meadows and cottage gardens of Britain were once a vast larder of ingredients from which oils, ointments, tinctures, pills, …

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Mysteries of the Forest

Sherwood Forest has deep roots in Nottinghamshire’s history, folklore and culture: there is perhaps no other place which is so emblematic of the county. We are fortunate enough to hold several records about this remarkable area – including a collection of two manuscript volumes featuring copies of statutes, ordinances and extracts from the forest courts. …

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The Ballad of the Cherry Tree

This is a guest post by Trish Kerrison, who volunteered at Manuscripts and Special Collections between April and September 2023, cataloguing medicinal herbs and their uses in remedies from material held in our collections.  In Mrs Willoughby’s Housekeeping Book of 1737 (MS 87/4), to which Mother Bird is a frequent contributor, there is a receipt …

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