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 …

Simple Medicine

Post by Library Assistant Safiya Williams. There is a great pleasure, and sometimes amusement, in reading through old texts that cover topics of the human body and cures for its many ailments. Books on herbalism and herbal remedies give us an idea of those who came before us – without the support of modern medicine, …

Vaccinations

Vaccines. They’ve been headline news for weeks, and earlier this month the Covid 19 Vaccination Centre at KMC opened its doors. Vaccination was explicitly legalised and made free of charge in the UK in 1840. At the time, smallpox, which had killed, disfigured and disabled people since antiquity, was the only disease that could be …

A Tale of Scales and Slippers

Pantomime is as part of a British Christmas as mince pies, tinsel, and repeatedly losing the end of the sellotape when wrapping presents. Nottingham Playhouse‘s Christmas panto this year is Cinderella, and despite the novel presentation of On Demand performances and plans for socially-distanced theatre audiences, the storyline will remain comfortingly familiar. The panto plot …

Calendar Adventures

Sometimes the simplest of questions are the most difficult to answer. In archives, that question can often be ‘what date is this document?’. Georgian/Julian calendars, regnal years, and feast days are all recognizable dating systems for people who use historic documents regularly (even if we do have to double check how to convert them into …

The Art of Making Fireworks: a children’s guide

As we go into a second national lockdown and organised Bonfire Night displays across the country have been cancelled, I decided to have a look through the archives for any pretty images of fireworks or happy recollections of past celebrations. It was going to be light-hearted and cheerful post, but the collections here never fail …