Uncovering feminism and sexism in the University Archives

This is a guest post by Samantha Brinded, who volunteered with Manuscripts and Special Collections between May 2023 and March 2024. For decades, student magazines have played an integral role in university culture, and the University of Nottingham is no exception. In 1939, students established a newspaper called Gongster following on from the campus arts …

Handling History – a recent archive placement

This is a guest post by Jessica Reynolds, who volunteered at Manuscripts and Special Collections between February and March 2024, as part of the Faculty of Arts placement scheme. Working as a volunteer at the University of Nottingham’s Manuscripts and Special Collections felt like working as a Detective! Whilst on the Arts Faculty Placement module, …

dear sisters exhibition opens

Manuscripts and Special Collections were delighted to welcome so many people to the launch of the exhibition dear sisters: activists’ archives at the Weston Gallery last month. The exhibition was officially opened by Professor Shearer West, the University of Nottingham’s first female Vice-Chancellor, and Vandna Gohil, CEO of Nottingham’s Women’s Centre. Both spoke of the importance …

The Nottingham Feminist Archive Group: activist archiving

To mark International Women’s Day, find out how the Nottingham Feminist Archive Group have been collaborating with Manuscripts and Special Collections at the University of Nottingham in this guest blog by Group member, Jayne Muir. The upcoming exhibition dear sisters: activists’ archives at Nottingham Lakeside Arts (21st March – 1st September 2024) showcases material from …

Audrey Beecham: Warden, historian, poet, anarchist, feminist, and champion of the underdog

Helen Audrey Beecham (1915-1989) came to the University of Nottingham in 1950 having been    appointed warden of the newly built Nightingale Hall, which at the time was a women-only hall of residence. She served as warden and also lecturer in social and economic history for 30 years until her retirement in 1980.  Before coming …

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, …

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 …

Introducing the Feminist Archive (East Midlands)

The Nottingham Feminist Archive Group and Manuscripts and Special Collections are delighted to announce the creation of:   FME: The Feminist Archive (East Midlands)  FPC: The Feminist Publications Collection The two new research collections are the result of a collaboration between the University and local activists who have been contributing their photos, papers and memories for …

Cataloguing History: Time with the Manvers Collection

This is a guest post by Andy Judson, a student volunteer studying towards a PhD in History at University of Nottingham. He recently completed a 60-day placement funded by the Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partership and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The placement engaged him to work with part of the extensive Manvers Collection, …

Marginalia in a Medical Manuscript

This is a guest post by Tabitha Gresty, who volunteered at Manuscripts and Special Collections between April and September 2023, cataloguing medicinal herbs and their uses in remedies from material held here at Manuscripts and Special Collections. Since working on the Early Modern Recipes Research project, I have been constantly amazed by the breadth of …