A Painter and A Petition

In late 1841, Henry Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle, received an unusual request in the post, comprising of a letter and petition from a man named as Thomas J. Williams asking for financial support to attend the Royal Academy in London, in order to hone his talents as a painter.   In the petition, which is …

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 …

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, …

Working with the Coventry Patmore Collection

This is a guest blog by School of English Placement student Louise Roberts, who in 2023 worked on cataloguing additional papers of Coventry Patmore (1823-1896) When learning about Victorian literature, there is no doubt that Coventry Patmore’s poem The Angel of the House will be mentioned as one of the most influential pieces of literature …

Poetic Responses to Editing DH Lawrence

On 5 May 2022, 14 writers from the Writer Highway group, led by Cathy Grindrod, were invited to respond to our exhibition Editing DH Lawrence, running at Lakeside Arts until 29 May. Here are the poetic responses, check our other blog post for prose responses! Many thanks to all involved. Reflections on Editing DH Lawrence …

Cataloguing Connie: Part 1

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 …

Colley Cibber

If ever there was a case of success and fame being the result of luck, rather than talent, then Colley Cibber is it. He was an awful poet who became Poet Laureate through his political connections; a middling actor who connived to became a pioneering actor-manager in Drury Lane; and an unscrupulous and divisive man …

Collected Words: From the Literary Collections at the University of Nottingham

In 2015 Nottingham became one of only 20 cities around the world to be recognised by UNESCO as a City of Literature – a reflection of the city’s unique literary heritage and creativity. From 8 September, the Weston Gallery, Nottingham Lakeside Arts will host an exhibition showcasing material from the literary archives and collections of …

Veterinary Verse: The life and rhymes of Connie Ford

With a rich history of rebellion, Nottingham has spawned many world-class writers over the past few hundred years – from Byron to D.H. Lawrence and to Alan Sillitoe. However, the archives of Manuscripts and Special Collections hold the collection of one more rebel writer who can be added to Nottingham’s illustrious literary history: Connie Mae …

Purchasing Pansies: a new addition to the DH Lawrence collections

Manuscripts and Special Collections has recently acquired an important original typescript of D.H. Lawrence’s Pansies. The typescript was purchased by the University of Nottingham with assistance from the ACE/V & A Purchase Fund and the Friends of the National Libraries. The title of the volume of poems has nothing to do with the flower of …