Beyond the Mayflower: Separatists and Puritans

Our new exhibition ‘Beyond the Mayflower’ is now open at the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts. Among the passengers on the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 were a group of religious separatists who wished to worship in a different way to that allowed by the Church of England. In the early 17th century the Church …

Absolute Units

There’s been talk in the news about reintroducing imperial units, and we here in the archives love nothing more than the chance to show off our knowledge of the archaic and obsolete. In this case, systems of measuring stuff. Imperial units have been used in Britain since the Roman era – the ‘imperial’ refers to …

Keep calm and Curry on

This year’s theme for Heritage Open Day (10-19 September) is Edible England, a subject that I can genuinely get excited about. There are quite a few recipe books and household management guides in the collections, ranging from handwritten books of favourite recipes, to published volumes that went through multiple editions and included advice on cooking for …

Cataloguing Connie, Part 2

Connie Ford – veterinarian, poet, supporter of the arts, traveller, political activist, correspondent, sailor – left behind an enormous personal and literary archive. We are pleased to announce the completion of the Connie Ford catalogue which is now open to view on our website. Over the next few months our blogs will highlight specific aspects …

Are you smarter than a 19th century 10 year old?

“My first is to ramble, my next to retreat; my whole oft enrages in summer’s fierce heat”. Any suggestions? This word puzzle sounds like a cryptic crossword clue but it’s actually a fun puzzle for children.  The answer is at the bottom of the post, but if you didn’t solve that one, try this: “Without …

An almost entirely cow-free post about cows

You may have seen the recent news that the University of Nottingham has been trialling medication to make cows less gassy and, potentially, reduce methane emissions in the dairy industry. The research is being carried out at Sutton Bonington, and it’s part of a century-long tradition of research carried out there. The Sutton Bonington Campus …

Birds of America: Flights of Fancy

There are only 120 copies of Audubon’s ‘Birds of America’ known to survive, the vast majority in university or other public libraries. Different editions occupy multiple places in top 10 lists of the most expensive books ever sold. The 4th Duke of Portland, whose archive we hold, owned a complete copy of the first edition, …

Forestry and Photography

In the 11th century, Sherwood Forest covered 20% to 25% of Nottinghamshire and after the Norman invasion of 1066, was designated a Royal Forest and hunting ground. Charles I (1600-1649) was the last monarch to hunt there, and by the 18th century, large swathes had been gifted or sold to aristocratic families. Amongst those noblemen …

Lenton Priory

Did you watch The Great British Dig last week? Fronted by Hugh Dennis, a team of archaeologists excavated the gardens of homes built on the site of the long-gone Priory of Lenton, situated between the University Park and King’s Meadow Campuses. Lenton Priory itself is not exactly a mystery: this map clearly shows the site and there have been several …

World Book Day 2021

Happy World Book Day! None of the staff here fancied dressing up (we can’t all wear a dressing gown and pretend to be Arthur Dent) so instead we’ve picked out a few of our favourite books from our collections. Abigail (Document Production Assistant) chose what we refer to as the Poisons Scrapbooks: a set of …