Fungi and friendship: Margaret Cavendish-Bentinck, 2nd Duchess of Portland

This is a guest post written by UoN MA English Literature student Eve Campbell. Deciphering and researching the letters of Margaret Cavendish-Bentinck, 2nd Duchess of Portland (1715-1785), has been an insightful and rewarding experience and has allowed me to learn about different roles at Manuscripts and Special Collections. My placement required me to read through …

Sir Peter Kent

What links pleistocene sites in Kenya and Tanzania with the Forties oil field and the Lincolnshire Trust For Nature Conservation? The answer is the varied career of West Bridgford-born exploration geologist Sir Peter Kent (1913-1986). Archaeological work Kent studied geology at University College, Nottingham. At the age of 21 he travelled to East Africa as …

Mansfield and the Waste of Water

In 1899, the Nottinghamshire town of Mansfield was causing a certain amount of confusion and alarm. The population was just under 16,000 according to the 1891 census, was predicted to be about 18,500 to 20,000 by 1901. The problem facing engineers George & F.W. Hodson was that they were all using a suspiciously large quantity …

George Green Library: A Photographic History

George Green Library, originally known simply as the Science Library, was one of various buildings funded in the 1950s and 60s which signalled a massive investment in science teaching and research at the University of Nottingham, facilitated by the Vice Chancellor of the time, Bertrand Hallward. Although the proposed Science Library was originally conceived to …

Happy Census Release Day!

On a Sunday afternoon at the tail end of a global pandemic, millions of people in the UK sat down to complete the decennial census forms, a head count of everyone in the country on a given day. I could be referring to 2021, but as today is Census Release Day, you’ve probably guessed that …

Beyond the Mayflower: nonconformist churches

Our new exhibition ‘Beyond the Mayflower’ is now open at the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts. The exhibition goes beyond the story of the ‘Pilgrim Fathers’ to look at the nonconformist churches established by people with similar views who chose to remain in Nottinghamshire. As seen in a previous blog post, the archive of the Archdeaconry of …

Beyond the Mayflower: Catholics and recusants

Our new exhibition ‘Beyond the Mayflower’ is now open at the Weston Gallery, Lakeside Arts. A previous blog focused on the persecution of Protestant dissenters who wished to reform the Church of England. The church authorities were, however, even more suspicious of Roman Catholics. In 1593 practising Catholicism was made illegal. As plots in favour …

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 …